Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Eschrichtiidae > Eschrichtius > Eschrichtius robustus

Eschrichtius robustus (Gray Whale; Western Gray Whale)

Synonyms: Balaenoptera robusta; Eschrichtius gibbosus; Eschrichtius glaucus
Language: Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), also known as the grey whale, gray back whale, Pacific gray whale, or California gray whale is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. It reaches a length of 14.9 meters (49 ft), a weight of 36 tonnes (40 short tons), and lives between 55 and 70 years. The common name of the whale comes from the gray patches and white mottling on its dark skin. Gray whales were once called devil fish because of their fighting behavior when hunted. The gray whale is the sole living species in the genus Eschrichtius, which in turn is the sole living genus in the family Eschrichtiidae. This mammal descended from filter-feeding whales that appeared at the beginning of the Oligocene, over 30 million years ago.
View Wikipedia Record: Eschrichtius robustus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 22.87
EDGE Score: 3.17


Adult Weight [1]  31.42 tons (28,500.00 kg)
Birth Weight [1]  1,102.32 lbs (500.00 kg)
Female Maturity [1]  8 years
Male Maturity [1]  8 years
Diet [2]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [2]  10 %
Diet - Invertibrates [2]  90 %
Forages - Marine [2]  100 %
Emoji [3]  spouting whale
Gestation [1]  1 year 1 month
Litter Size [1]  1
Litters / Year [1]  1
Maximum Longevity [1]  77 years
Migration [4]  Interoceanic
Weaning [1]  6 months

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Rio Colorado Biosphere Reserve VI 2320468 Sonora, Mexico  
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Ib 12402936 Alaska, United States
California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve 153447 California, United States  
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary   California, United States
Channel Islands National Park II 139010 California, United States
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge IV 352 California, United States
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve II 366714 British Columbia, Canada
Komandorsk Biosphere Reserve 9016082 Kamchatka Krai , Russia    
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve 361480 Russia  
Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve 2822275 Kamchatka Krai , Russia
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve 293047 British Columbia, Canada  
Ostrov Vrangelya (Wrangel Island) Zapovednik Nature Monument III 180 Russia    
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve II 137900 British Columbia, Canada
Point Reyes National Seashore II 27068 California, United States
Redwood National Park II 77867 California, United States
Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve VI 6176727 Mexico  
Tuktut Nogait National Park II 5761538 Northwest Territories, Canada
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve 5499701 Chukotka, Russia    

Prey / Diet

Ampelisca eschrichti[5]
Ampelisca macrocephala[5]
Anonyx nugax[5]
Clupea pallasii (Pacific herring)[6]
Engraulis mordax (Californian anchoveta)[7]
Eohaustorius eous[5]
Euphausia pacifica (Pacific krill)[7]
Metacarcinus magister (Dungeness crab)[8]
Pontoporeia femorata[5]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Albatrossia pectoralis (Pectoral rattail)1
Alopias vulpinus (Zorro thresher shark)1
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)1
Balaenoptera musculus (Blue Whale)1
Bathyraja interrupta (Sandpaper skate)1
Bathyraja trachura (Roughtail skate)1
Callorhinus ursinus (Northern Fur Seal)1
Cerorhinca monocerata (Rhinoceros Auklet)1
Citharichthys sordidus (Sanddab)1
Cololabis saira (Skipper)1
Delphinus delphis (Short-beaked Saddleback Dolphin)1
Diaphus theta (California headlightfish)1
Eubalaena japonica (North Pacific Right Whale)1
Fratercula cirrhata (Tufted Puffin)1
Gavia pacifica (Pacific Loon)1
Katsuwonus pelamis (White bonito)1
Lagenorhynchus obliquidens (Pacific White-sided Dolphin)1
Lampanyctus jordani (Brokenline lanternfish)1
Larus occidentalis (Western Gull)1
Leptocottus armatus (Cabezon)1
Lutjanus guttatus (mutton snapper)1
Lyopsetta exilis (Slender sole)1
Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale)1
Mirounga angustirostris (Northern Elephant Seal)1
Phocoenoides dalli (Dall's Porpoise)1
Ptychoramphus aleuticus (Cassin's Auklet)1
Puffinus opisthomelas (Black-vented Shearwater)1
Puffinus tenuirostris (Short-tailed Shearwater)1
Sardinops sagax (Australian pilchard)1
Sebastes alutus (Snapper)1
Sebastes caurinus (Copper rockfish)2
Sebastes crameri (Rockfish)1
Sebastes diploproa (Splitnose rockfish)1
Sebastes flavidus (Yellowtail rockfish)1
Sebastes maliger (Rockfish)1
Sebastes pinniger (Rockfish)1
Sebastes serranoides (Rockfish)1
Seriphus politus (Drum)1
Sigmops gracilis (Slender fangjaw)1
Stenobrachius leucopsarus (Smallfin lanternfish)1
Synthliboramphus antiquus (Ancient Murrelet)1
Tarletonbeania crenularis (Blue lanternfish)1
Trichiurus lepturus (Atlantic Cutlassfish)1
Tursiops truncatus (Bottlenosed Dolphin)1
Uria aalge (Common Murre)1
Zalophus californianus (California Sealion)1
Zapteryx exasperata (Striped guitarfish)1


Homo sapiens (man)[6]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[6]
Somniosus pacificus (Pacific Sleeper Shark)[6]


Parasitized by 
Anisakis simplex[9]
Bolbosoma balaenae[9]
Brachycladium goliath[9]
Corynosoma semerme[9]
Corynosoma septentrionalis[9]
Corynosoma strumosum[9]
Corynosoma validum[9]
Diphyllobothrium macroovatum[9]
Ogmogaster pentalineatus <Unverified Name>[9]
Orthosplanchnus pygmaeus[9]
Priapocephalus eschrichtii[9]

Range Map

East Pacific; Indo-West Pacific;



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
3Emoji by Twitter is licensed under CC BY 4.0
4Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
5THE FOOD DIET CONTENT OF THE GRAY WHALE ESCHRICHTIUS ROBUSTUS IN MECHIGMENSKY BAY, WESTERN BERING SEA, Lyudmila L. Budnikova, Sergey A. Blokhin, Dennis I. Litovka, Internal Whaling Commission, SC65a Meeting, BRG13, 2013
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
8Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository.
9Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access