PACIFIC GRAY WHALE
only member of the family Eschrichtiidae, the gray whale
is a mysticete, or baleen whale. It is a "coastal"
whale that migrates along the North American Pacific Coast
between arctic seas and the lagoons of Baja California,
Mexico. Frequently visible from shore, gray whales provide
a unique opportunity for land and boat observation, and
commercial whalewatching has become a major industry along
its migration route. Visitors to the calving and breeding
lagoons sometimes encounter the phenomenon of the "friendlies";
gray whales that closely approach small boats and allow
themselves to be touched by humans.