Grey Whale

Grey Whale illustration by A Denbigh
Grey Whale (Northern Pacific Migratory population)
Eschrichtius robustus
NWT List of Species at Risk: 
Not applicable
NWT SARC Assessment: 
Not applicable
Federal Species at Risk Act list: 
Special Concern
COSEWIC Assessment: 
Not at risk
NWT General Status Rank: 

The Grey Whale is a medium to large-sized baleen whale (baleen is a flexible material found in long, thin plates along the jaw which acts to filter small food particles rather than using regular teeth). It has a streamlined body and narrow, tapered head. Its skin is dark grey and mottled, often covered with patches of barnacles and crustaceans. This whale does not have a dorsal fin but has a low hump and a series of seven to fifteen “knuckles” along its dorsal ridge. Two to four grooves on the underside of the throat allow the whale to extend its throat so it can feed by scooping up bottom sediment and straining it through its baleen.

Weight: 22 to 38 t (24 to 42 tons). Length: Females, 12 to 15 m (39 to 50 ft); Males, 11 to 14 m (36 to 46 ft).

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