Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Gray Whale
A Gray Whale
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Eschrichtiidae

Eschrichtiidae is a family of baleen whales in the suborder Mysticeti. Only one species is still extant, the gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus. However, the family also includes the fossil genera Archaeschrichtius from the Miocene and Eschrichtioides from the Pliocene of Italy and Gricetoides from the Pliocene of North Carolina.

Genus Eschrichtius[]

The genus Eschrichtius has only one species, the Gray Whale, which in turn is the sole living genus in the family Eschrichtiidae. This mammal descended from filter-feeding whales that developed at the beginning of the Oligocene, over 30 million years ago.

The gray whale is distributed in an eastern North Pacific (North American) population and a critically endangered western North Pacific (Asian) population. North Atlantic populations were extirpated (perhaps by whaling) on the European coast before 500 AD and on the American coast around the late 17th to early 18th centuries. However, on May 8, 2010, a sighting of a gray whale was confirmed off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea, leading some scientists to think they might be repopulating old breeding grounds that have not been used for centuries.


Genus †Archaeschrichtius
Genus †Eschrichtioides
Genus Eschrichtius
 Eschrichtius robustus, Gray Whale
Genus †Gricetoides