A North Pacific gray whale carried out 14,000 miles long migration journey. The whale marked a new record in the migration history of mammals.
Scientists from Oregon State University attached tracking devices to the whale. The whale, dubbed as Varvara, swam from Sakhalin Island to Mexico. It covered a distance of nearly 22,500 kilometers in around 172 days. The whale started the journey in the month of November and reached the destination in February.
The long distance journey of Varvara has taken the crown from a humpback whale. The humpback whale swam nearly 10,190 miles from the warm waters on the equator to the cool waters of Antarctic regions. The whale stopped merely 6 times to hunt for food.
The close observation of whale’s migration also cleared out misconceptions regarding gray whales. Previously, scientists used to believe that gray whales travel up and down from eastern Asian coast to the South China Sea. However, the latest study reveals that gray whale do not follow any specie coastline. They can effortlessly navigate across open water in order to get back to their homes.
Burce Mate, head of the Marine Mammals Institute, discussed the study. He states that the migration period of the gray whale is certainly surprising for everyone.
The Exxon Neftegas Limited, the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, the U.S Office of Naval Research has funded the study.