Gray Whale

Learn with Manuel Lara about species in his article “Animal Sanctuaries”.

Eschrich ius robustus (Lilljeborg, 1861)

Order: Ariodactyla

Family: Balaenopteridae



E. robustus iene aletas pequeñas en forma de paleta, en comparación con las grandes aletas blancas de las ballenas jorobadas; su mandíbula superior se ex iende más allá de la mandíbula inferior; iene el dorso gris moteado y no iene aleta dorsal. Las ballenas grises a menudo albergan densas infestaciones de parásitos en su piel que le dan una apariencia áspera y con parches. E. robustus has small, paddle-shaped lippers, compared to the large white lippers of humpback whales; its upper jaw extends past the lower jaw; it has mottled gray back and doesn’t have a dorsal fin. Gray whales are o ten hosts to dense infesta ions of skin parasites that give their skin a rough and patchy appearance.


This species occurs in the eastern and western north Pacific, usually feeding in shallow coastal waters with muddy or sandy bottoms. They are migratory and rely on a variety of coastal habitats. During summer, they stay in waters of up to 60 m in depth and within 0.5 km to 166 km of shore. During fall, eastern gray whales migrate along the west coast of North America and spend winter in waters of less than 4 m in depth.


Gray whales migrate back and forth from Mexico to Alaska every year. Depending on the season, they can be spotted anywhere along the North American east coast. They spend their winters for ma ing season In the Gulf of California. Along with humpback whales, they are the most popular and most watched whales, because they can be very playful and curious, and o ten like to interact with boats, some imes get ing really close.

REFERENCES: (S.F.). “Gray whales – the best time and place to watch gray whales”. (S.F.). whales/gray-whales/ (Consultado el 29-05-2022)