The San Juan Islands have many marine animals including:
There is many more but here is some information on the ones listed above!
The gray whale is the most active of all large whales. Spyhopping, lobtailing and breaching are observed often. The female whale can grow to a length of 50ft and weigh 30-35 tons and males reach 46ft and can weigh 16 tons. The gray whale is well known for the 19,500km round trip between its northern feeding grounds in the Beaufort, Bering and Chukchi Seas and its southern breeding grounds in Baja California and slightly off the Korean coast.
The gray whale is mottled grey all over its body including the flippers and tail flukes. The gray whales head is narrow and arched up along the upper surface giving it a conical shape. Its mouth contains small hairs along the jaw with 130-180 small baleen plates on each side. Mostly a bottom feeder, the gray whale will dive to 395ft deep but prefers shallower water. While migrating, the gray whale will feed on small fish and shrimp (mysids), but once they reach the Arctic Ocean it will consume its normal prey (gammarid amphipods). The gray whale can also be observed off the coasts of Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Northern California.
Male killer whales may reach a length of 30ft long and females half that length(15ft). The Killer Whale is black above, with a striking white oval patch around each eye, It's belly is white with white marking going up the animals sides. It has a high, triangular dorsal fin between it's head and tail, and broad paddle shaped flippers.
The Killer Whale is worldwide in distrubution. It is a swift and ferocious animal, armed with more than 4 dozen sharp teeth, and it is the only cetecean that feeds regularly on birds or mammals. Killer Whales eat seals, sea birds, fish, and in packs they will even attack larger whales.
Some females give birth at 12 years old but usually they give birth at 14-15 years old. The female gives birth to a single calf (rarely ever twins), up to 7ft long. Females mature in 6-7 years, males 12. Females calving rate is one every three years, and they stop giving birth at approximately 40 years old.
Dolphins and Porpoises are carnivores and most eat fishes or squids. Different habitats mean different diets; each type of dolphin and porpoise specializes in catching prey that lives in it's specific ecosystem. The Dolphins and Porpoises average life span is about 10-50 years. It's calving can occur every 2-3 years, one calf at a time. Dolphins and Porpoises are found in every ocean, from the Antarctic Ocean to the Southern Pacific Lagoons.
Did you know? Dalls Porpoises can reach speeds of about 56mph which makes them the fastest cetceans in the ocean!
Pacific white-sided dolphins travel in schools of between 2 and 1000 individuals!
Sea Otters eat clams, mussels, chitons, snails, prawns, crabs, sea urchins and some other mollusks. The Sea Otters use their sense of touch to find food; diving Sea Otters feel for food along the ocean floor with their sensitive front paws. Sea Otters dine floating on their backs, using their stomachs as a dining table to spread outr their food. They might use hard things to crush their food that they gather like clams.
Sea Otters eat a huge amount of food( up to 30% their body weight!) every day. They need a lot of food energy to maintain a constant body temperture in their cold water habitat.
Sea Otters have one of the thickest fur coats in the animal kingdom. An adult coat contains 800 million hairs on it! Sea Otters depend on their warm fur coats, because they have no blubber layer. It is important that Sea Otters keep their fur clean to maintain their insulating air layer between the water and their skin. The length of a Sea Otter is about 1.5m for males and females 1.40m. Their weight is 45kg males and up to 32.6kg females. Their average life span is 10-15 years males and 15-20 years females.
Did you know? The Sea Otters skin never gets wet! They are one of the rare tool using animals. They use rocks to break open their food.