Facts about Grey Whales, "Scientific name for Grey Whale is Eschrichtius robustus". Gray Whale is a big marine animal that belongs to the genus Eschrichtius of the Eschrichtiidae family. The Grey Whale migrates between breeding and feeding grounds annually. The Grey Whale attains its common name due to the white mottling and gray patches on its dark color skin. It was once called as devil fish, owing to their struggling activities when hunted. Currently, it is the only living species in the Eschrichtius genus, which in turn is the only existing group in the Eschrichtiidae family. The Grey Whale is originated from the filter-nourishing whales that evolved at the commencement of the Oligocene, more than 30 million years ago. The Grey Whales are largely found in the western parts of North Pacific, and they are considered endangered.
Features of Grey Whale
An adult Gray Whale is capable of attaining a maximum body length, ranging from 43 feet to 49 feet (13 m to 15 m), with the maximum body mass that ranges from 17 to 36 short tons (15 tons to 33 tons). Usually, female Grey Whales are slightly bigger than the males.
The Gray Whale has a gloomy slate-gray color body, which is covered by distinctive gray-white color patterns and the marks left by fleas which will drop in its cold nourishing grounds. The Grey Whales are normally recognized using pictures of their dorsal surface and matching the patches and scars, linked with fleas that have dropped from their body or are still affixed. The Gray Whale has two blowholes over their head, which can generate a characteristic V-shaped blow at the surface in tranquil wind conditions.
Prominent features that differentiate the Gray Whale from other whale varieties is its baleen that is variously described in a variety of ways, such as off-white, cream, or blond in color and is strangely small. Little depressions on the Grey Whale upper jaw contain a lone rigid hair, but they are only visible when the Grey Whale is observed closely. The ventral surface of the head of the Grey Whales lacks the several famous furrows of the associated Rorquals. Instead, they bear two to five low furrows on the underside of their throat. The Grey Whale has no dorsal fin, as well. Instead, the Grey Whale bears 6 to 12 dorsal knuckles, which are elevated bumps on the midline of the back quarter of the Grey Whale, leading to their flukes.
The Gray Whale has a long tail, ranging in length from 10 feet to 11 feet (3 m to 3.5 m) across and intensely notched at the middle part of the body, whereas its edges are tapered to a point. When the Grey Whales get older, usually they will lose the right side eye sight.
Diet of Grey Whale
The Gray Whale mostly feeds on benthic crustaceans that it consumes by rotating on its side and digging up residues from the ocean floor.
Reproduction of Grey Whale
Breeding behavior in Gray Whale mammals is complex and regularly entails three or more whales. Both female and male Grey Whales will attain their sexual maturity after eight years of their birth. Female Grey Whales demonstrate highly harmonized reproduction, experiencing oestrus between the last week of November and the first week of December. During the breeding period, usually, female Grey Whales will have numerous mates. This single ovulation incident is supposed to agree with the yearly migration patterns of the species, while births can happen in warmer waters. Most female Grey Whales use to breed two times in a year. Male Grey Whales also demonstrate cyclic changes, undergoing a boost in testes mass that associates with the time the female whales undergo oestrus. The female Grey Whalee offers birth to a single offspring after a gestation periods of 1 1/2 years. The newborn Gray Whale has a body length of 16 feet (4.9 m). They have a dark gray to black color body.
The average lifespan of the Gray Whale ranges from 55 years to 70 years.