The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Grey Whale, Californian Whale (Eschrichtius robustus or Eschrichtius gibbosus)

Reference work entry

Grey Whale, Californian Whale (Eschrichtius robustus or Eschrichtius gibbosus) – a marine mammal of a baleen whale suborder. The sole species in the genus of grey whales (Eschrichtiidae). G.W. is considered one of the most ancient mammals – the age of the species is around 30 million years. The length of the body of adult G.W.: 12–15 m for females, 11–14.6 m for males. The weight is 15–35 t. The back is more convex than the belly. The head is short, around 20 % of the body length, flattened from the sides. Mouth divides the head of G.W. in two equal parts, the upper and the lower. The body is grey-brown in colour, less often – black-brown; it is covered with numerous light spots up to 10 cm in diameter. G.W. inhabits the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, with regular seasonal migrations. Two populations of G.W. are known: West-Pacific (Okhotsk and Korean) and Chukchi-California. The first one winters and breeds close to Korea and South Japan. The latter one winters and breeds in the...

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016