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8 Fun Facts About Gray Whales

Gray Whale

One of the ultimate yearly activities is whale watching. It is not often that families can see the behemoth species in the wild and in such great numbers. However, the time of year matters. If you check out any San Diego whale watch reviews, you will quickly realize that blue whales can be seen nearly any time of the year, but gray whales have more specific dates for viewing.

As gray whales make one of the longest migrations of any mammal from Alaska to Mexico and back, it is crucial to visit San Diego during the migration period. Gray whales make their voyage from mid-December through mid-March. While the migratory patterns of these animals are so profound, there are many reasons to love gray whales.

What Are Gray Whales?

Gray whales are large and beautiful members of the marine mammal family. They can grow to about 49 feet and can weigh around 90,000 pounds when fully grown. They live about 40 years and reach sexual maturity between six and twelve years.

The mammals feed primarily on mysids, amphipods, and tube worms. However, they can gather baitfish, red crabs, and other food as they roll onto their sides and suck up sediment from the seafloor.

Inhabiting the eastern North Pacific Ocean, California gray whales are known to embark on one of the longest migrations of any other mammal species, roughly 6,000 miles, every year, encouraging whale watching San Diego.

Gray Whale Migration & More

The gray whale migration 2022 is expected to be another spectacular spectacle. However, it is not the only interesting fact about the sea mammal:

  1. Gray whales are bottom feeders. They turn to their side and suck up sediment from the ocean floor, straining water and silt through its baleen and swallowing invertebrates.
  2. Gray whales have the smallest baleen of any prior baleen species, with only 130 strips on either side of their jaw. The lower number is representative of its eating style.
  3. Gray whales are the only living member of the baleen family Eschrichtiidae.
  4. Gray whales are known as devilfish. The nickname stems from whale hunting and the animal’s aggressive behavior when harpooned.
  5. Female gray whales give birth to 16-foot calves.
  6. Female grays give birth to their young in shallow lagoons in Baja. The animals are also unusually receptive to human presence during these times.
  7. Gray whales can swim at speeds of roughly 33 mph.
  8. Gray whales can dive to depths of about 395 feet.

Seeing the gray whale migration is something spectacular. It is a sight you and your family will never forget. People are too used to viewing wild animals in cages at zoos, but visiting San Diego and taking a whale watching tour is an opportunity to see the great mammals in the wild, their natural habitat. If you are ready to take a trip to San Diego, contact a whale watching tour service to discuss the best times of year to visit. The service will have tour guides capable of answering any of your questions.

More on this topic:

What Kind of Whales You May See During the Fall Season

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