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photos of  gray whales

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pr7123-D. Gray Whale calf, and happy female whale-watcher. Vertical portrait
photo of curious baby grey whale interacting with woman in Mexico
pr7033-D. Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) resting at surface. Magdalena Bay, Baja, Mexico, Pacific
vertical stock marine image of gray whale tail flukes 
pr5272-D. gray whale calf breaching. Note how it is entangled in yellow fishing ropes
Gray Whale calf entangled in fishing gear breaches in Baja, high res photograph
pr7016-D. California Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus), near boat with people whale watching.
top collection of gray whale pictures including whale-watching photos

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   vitals                                                              bio
Gray Whale
scientific name Eschrichtius robustus
range warm temperate to subpolar, North Pacific Ocean
Baja Mexico, California USA
habitat coastal
size to 45 feet (14m), 30 tons
diet amphipods (tiny crustaceans)
trivia  bottom-feeder which sucks up sediments; usually  heavily infested with external parasites (whale lice and barnacles)
Gray Whales were nearly annihilated by the whalerís harpoon in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, unlike so many of the other giants whose populations are still decimated to this day, strict protection since 1937 has seen the gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, stage a remarkable recovery. It is estimated that 22,000 grays once again roam the Pacific Ocean, a figure that approximates this speciesí historic abundance.
     Averaging 12 feet long and some 2000 pounds, gray whale calves are born December through March in the warm, shallow lagoons on the Pacific side of Mexicoís Baja Peninsula. After six weeks of supping on the fat-rich motherís milk, during which time they will double their weight, the gray whales will leave Mexican waters for their five to six thousand mile journey north to the summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. Itís the longest twice-annual migration of any mammal.
     One of the best whale-watching experiences on the planet awaits you in Baja where small boats ("pangas") piloted by local guides take tourists into the lagoons to see mother and calves. Over the years these whales have become more and more acclimated to boats and people,  to the point that it's not uncommon to have "friendlies" swim right up to the pangas and lift their snouts out of the water. Many people claim its a life-changing experience to reach out and touch these curious, gentle giants. 


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