The gray whale can reach lengths of up to 50 feet and weigh up to 40 tons.
Gray whales have a stocky body with a small dorsal hump and a distinct ridge along their back, and are typically mottled in color, varying from gray to brown.
Gray whales are known to inhabit coastal waters, including bays, estuaries, and lagoons. They are found along the Pacific coast of North America, with a population that migrates between feeding grounds in the Arctic and breeding grounds in Mexico.
They can be found along the coast of Alaska, Canada, and the United States during their feeding season and along the coast of Baja California and Mexico during their breeding and calving season. They are also found along the northeastern coast of Asia.
They are bottom feeders and feed on small crustaceans, worms, and mollusks, which they filter out of the sediment using their baleen plates.
Gray whales are known for their long migration routes, traveling up to 12,000 miles round trip between their feeding grounds in the Arctic and their breeding grounds in Mexico. They typically begin their migration in the Arctic in the late fall, then head south to their breeding and calving grounds in Mexico.
Gray whales tend to be relatively solitary animals, but they can also be found in small groups during their migration. Once they reach their breeding grounds, they typically mate and give birth, before heading back to their feeding grounds in the Arctic.
Gray whales are known to be curious and approachable to boats and humans and can be seen spyhopping, breaching and tail slapping and even flipper slapping. They are known to be vocal creatures and communicate through a variety of sounds including songs, calls and moans.
Gray whales were nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century, but their population has since recovered and is currently considered a “species of least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Gray whales are known to be curious and approachable to boats and humans, they are known to be more interactive and habituated to human presence than any other whale species.