adaptation A physical or behavioral feature that evolved in response to an organism's environment, due to pressures for survival. Adaptations for survival include how a species looks (its anatomy and morphology) as well as how it behaves (how it moves, obtains food, reproduces, responds to danger, etc.). See Adaptations That Help Gray Whales Survive.
American Cetacean Society (ACS) The world's oldest whale conservation group, founded in 1967, with an office in San Pedro, CA and chapters in Los Angeles, Orange County, Puget Sound (Seattle), Monterey, San Francisco, and the Channel Islands (Santa Barbara-Ventura)
Tiny shrimp-like animals that live in sediment on the ocean floor. They
are a gray whale's favorite food.
Blowholes the two openings on top of a gray whale's head; the place where the whale inhales and exhales air from its lungs.
Breaching Breaching is when the whale leaps almost clear of the water and falls back with a splash.
bubble blast When the whale exhales under water. A mom sometimes does a bubble blast under a calf — kind of a Jacuzzi for the kid. In the lagoons a female may do a bubble blast under a boat. But no one knows why they bubble blast during the migration.
cow A mother whale
dorsal ridge the series of knuckles along the backbone of a gray whale, differentialting it from other whale species. Gray whales have a dorsal ridge instead of a dorsal fin.
endangered A species whose numbers are so low that they are in danger of dying out (becoming extinct). Gray whales were removed from the endangered list in 1994, but the population remains watched.
flukes The whale’s tail; the two lobes of a whale’s tail
whale raises its tail, as when getting ready to dive, and you see
a good view of the flukes.
animal that gives birth to live young, breathes air, is warm blooded,
and nurses its young. Mammals have hair/fur. Even whales have a few “whiskers.”
lagoon A warm, shallow, and sheltered ocean waters along the coast where
baby whales are born. The
gray whale nursery lagoons are in Baja California Mexico.
spout A whale's visible, noisy exhale of air, water vapor,
period The date or dates, typically in February, when the number of northbound whales exceeds
the number of southbound whales.