Affectionate gray whale
In Baja California, in the northernmost state of Mexico, a curious gray whale swam up to the boat with tourists and aggressively offered to stroke
This fascinating moment was captured by zoologist and wildlife lover Mark Karvardin during his visit to this place in March 2017.
1. The body length of adult gray whales: in females 12–15 m, in males 11–14.6 m. Weight - 15–35 tons. Not so bad. The head is short, about 20% of the body length, compressed laterally.
2. Gray whales live in the northern Pacific Ocean, making regular seasonal migrations. Two herds of gray whales are known: the Okhotsk-Korean and the Chukchi-Californian. In the waters of Russia there are whales of both populations. Until the XVII century. Gray whales were also found in the North Atlantic and in the Baltic Sea, but were exterminated or died out due to the rise of land and the drying of habitual breeding sites.
3. It is clear that such a colossus can tear apart a small boat with people at one stroke, but a curious gray whale wanted a caress.
5. And cubs near. By the way, newborn kitas have a body length of 3.6–5.5 m with a mass of “only” 650–800 kg.
6In the mouth of the whale is visible whalebore - the horny plates of the cetaceans hanging from the sky. They serve to sift out the plankton, the main food.
7. Gray whales are considered creatures that make the longest seasonal migrations among mammals. During the year the whale swims 12-19 thousand km; Thus, over 40 years of life, a gray whale covers a distance equal to the length of the path from the Earth to the Moon and back.
8. Gray whales usually feed at a depth of 15–60 meters. When feeding, the whale heels on the right side (less often on the left), sucking the bottom substrate; for this reason, the whalebone on the right side of the jaws is usually shorter and more worn out than on the left, and the muzzle on the right is covered with abrasions and scars.
9. A young animal 6 m long in 12 hours eats up to 116 kg of feed, an adult (12 m long) 552 kg. During migration and wintering grounds, whales live on stocks of subcutaneous fat, feeding only occasionally. During migrations, whales lose up to 1/3 of their body weight.
11. Very good!
12. The gray whale swims slowly - its usual speed is 7–10 km / h, in frightened animals it does not exceed 18 km / h.
13. In the past, the gray whale was one of the main commercial whale species due to its availability. In 1853-1856 its population in the waters of California was estimated at 30 thousand individuals. However, enhanced fishing has led to an almost complete destruction of the species. By 1930there are only a few hundred gray whales. In 1938, fishing restrictions were introduced, and since 1947, a total ban. And in Russia, the gray whale is inscribed in the Red Book.