Gray Whale

Eschrichtius robustus

The Gray Whale is a large species of whale commonly found in the Pacific Ocean. A few specimens exist near and around the Gulf of California. They can be recognized by the white and gray scar tissue on their backs and by barnacles growing on their skin, which
gives their skin the consistency of ocean rock. They are omnivores, and they eat through filter feeding. Migratory animals, specimens often travel in groups called pods and can migrate thousands of miles away to warmer waters. Like most other species of whale, they surface in order to breathe, and like other baleen whales, they have dual blowholes.

Their current overall conservation status is Least Concern, but in the past there were on the brink of extinction. Whalers had been hunting them for many years, some for food and others for the products that could be produced from their bodies. The hunt was especially prevalent in the Northwest Pacific ocean. So many of them had been caught that they were pushed to the brink of extinction. In response to the problem, many governments have placed them on their endangered species lists, and whaling practices have been restricted in America, Europe and most Asian countires. Although their population is rebounding, they continue to remain critically endangered in the northwestern region of the Pacific Ocean.

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