Lagoon Whale Guide Patrycja (Pat) says:
A gray whale's blowholes.
Photo Photo Patrycja Kaczynska, Baja Ecotours in San Ignacio Lagoon, Mexico

What are blowholes?

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Video Clip:
A Gray Whale's Blow

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Photo: Keith Jones

The slits, or openings, on the whale's head are blowholes. Lagoon guide Pat explains: The whale had just closed its blowholes after blowing (exhaling, which you see above). Whales are mammals and breathe air. They must close their blowholes before going back under the water's surface.

The blowholes of gray whales are 20 centimeters (about 10 inches) long. They slam shut very hard. Snap! You wouldn't dare to put your fingers into them!

Baleen whales have two blowholes, while toothed whales (dolphins, killer whales, sperm whales) have only one blowhole.