GRAY WHALE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     7th March 2024        
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Context: The Gray Whale was last seen in the Atlantic Ocean in the 18th century. But now, it has appeared off the coast of the United States’ New England region, courtesy climate change.


Gray Whale

  • About: It is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and breeding grounds yearly.
  • Scientific name: Eschrichtius robustus
  • Habitat: North Pacific and adjacent seas
  • Native: Canada; China; Japan; Mexico; Russian Federation; United States
  • Physical Features: Gray whales possess a hump and a ridge of sharp bumps along their backs, in contrast to a dorsal fin commonly found in other whale species.
  • Migrations: These whales are known for their extensive migrations, covering up to 12,000 miles round trip between feeding and breeding areas.
  • Population: Estimated 150 individuals (western population); stable (eastern population).
  • Status: Least Concern.

Whales:

  • About: Whale, any of the larger species of aquatic mammals belonging to the order Cetacea. 
  • Distribution: Whales are distributed throughout the world’s oceans and seas, from the Equator to the polar ice, except for the landlocked Caspian and Aral seas.
  • Characteristics: They are mammals, and they share the defining traits of that group: they breathe air, are warm-blooded, give live birth, suckle their young on milk, and have hair.  There are five cetacean species and 19 subspecies or subpopulations of cetacean that are currently classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. 
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