Familia Eschrichtiidae

Family Eschrichtiidae - Gray Whale (1 species in 1 genus)

The gray whale was once present in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but has been exterminated in the North Atlantic in the last few hundred years. This monotypic family is in some ways intermediate between the Balaenidae and the Balaenopteridae. The gray whale is stocky and has an arched jaw, but neither of these characters is as pronounced as in the right whales. Gray whales are slow-moving coastal animals that suck prey from the bottom sediments. Gray whales have the shortest and coarsest baleen of all species, a feature that probably reflects both the size of their prey and their tendency to take in gravel, sand, and other debris during feeding. There are 2 to 5 short throat creases, a dorsal hump followed by a series of knobs or knuckles along the dorsal surface of the tail stock, and only 4 digits in the flipper.


Genus Eschrichtius containing 1 species:
Eschrichtius robustus (Gray whale)