Gray Whale

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gray Whale


(Eschrichtius gibbosus), a marine mammal of the suborder Odontoceti (toothless whales). Adult gray whales reach a length of 15 m, and newborns about 4.5 m. The whalebone, or plates of baleen, are white and thick and have a coarse fringe; about 180 plates are on each side of the jaw. The dorsal fin is in the form of a low protuberance, behind which are situated several smaller humps. The coloration is gray with numerous light spots, which are scars left by dislodged ectoparasites.

The gray whale inhabits the coastal waters of the northern Pacific Ocean. The Okhotsk-Korea school has been exterminated; the Chukchi-California school winters and reproduces off the coast of California and feeds in the summer in the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait. The gray whale feeds predominantly on benthic crustaceans, for example, beach fleas.

After the prohibition of trade in gray whales in 1946, the school increased from several hundred to 11,000 head by 1969. In the USSR, permission to hunt the gray whales is given only to the local Chukchi population.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We suspect that most of these tracklines were well offshore (100-999 fm) given the absence of gray whale sightings.
Data files were scanned visually for the presence of calls from gray whales. Time and frequency measurements were made for gray whale calls from both instruments (256 point Fast Fourier Transform [FFT], 75% overlap, Hanning window).
Some biologists believe gray whales calve in Baja because killer whale populations are lower and the threat to newborns minimal--a strategic, intelligent example of "outdistancing predators," says Joel Berger, a biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Port Hadlock, June 16 (BNA): At least one Washington state waterfront landowner has said yes to a request to allow dead gray whales to decompose on their property.
The last major West Coast gray whale die-off, in 1999 and 2000, was believed to have been related to an ocean-warming El Nino event.
Like so many of the great whales, modern gray whale populations declined steeply during the commercial whaling era (Mead and Mitchell, 1984; Alter et al., 2012).
Whale watchers first spotted the gray whale, whose age and gender are not known, at Dana Point off the coast of Orange County, Calif., on April 1 as it swam north toward its summer feeding grounds in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska.
Key words: bowhead whale; Balaena mysticetus; gray whale; Eschrichtias robustus; Arctic; C hukchi Sea, habitat, aerial survey; feeding
To look at, gray whales aren't the most attractive creatures; covered in barnacles and sea lice, they host more external parasites than any other cetacean.
Gray whales persist in the Pacific but went extinct in the Atlantic more than two centuries ago.
On his journey, Whaley meets an orca whale, a humpback whale, a gray whale, a white beluga whale, a sperm whale, and a whale shark.