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A helping hand to a face only a mother could love

It’s a very special treat for the visitors

and we who live in Baja California Sur, to commune closely with our mammal friends, whales and dolphins. Swimming with the dolphins in the Cabo San Lucas tank brings joy at the fun and intelligence these animals add to their encounters with humans. T e existence of whale lagoons in our State of Baja Sur, and the small panga boats, close to the water that bring us in touching distance of these gentle giants of the ocean, is truly a giſt and a rarity on the planet. When a gray whale chooses to play and interact with your boat, you feel a rare sense of connection to a wild animal unlike any other. Gray whales are mammals like hu-

mans. T ey belong to the category called cetaceans that also includes dolphins and porpoises. T ey breathe with lungs, they are warm-blooded and give birth to live young that suckle their moms like other mammals. T ere are about 80 species of

cetaceans living in the world’s oceans with sizes ranging from 4-100 feet and weigh up to 70,000 pounds. All cetaceans eat other animals, but only the Orca or “killer whale” regularly eats warm-blooded ani- mals and is the major enemy of the gray whale. T e rest of the whales enjoy a vast array of cold blooded foods like a shrimp- like krill, anchovies, herring and even gi- ant 50-foot squid along with their favorite bottom sand creatures. T e favorite food of the gray whale – tiny amphipods - is found in the shallows of the northern seas where they have to suck the dirt through their baleen to get to them. Amazingly, the earliest ancestors of

whales lived on land about 50 million years ago. What would make a land animal move into the sea? Scientists have yet to fi nd a link from the ancient whales evolved from land and today’s gray whale. Fossil remains found so far for the gray whale go back just 50,000 to 120,000 years and

T e author, Susan Carol up front and personal

some speculate that like the walrus, the gray whale evolved in the north Atlantic and migrated to the north Pacifi c during warmer times and higher sea levels. So Scientists gave the grays their own fam- ily, Eschrichtidae. Today their ranging grounds is much smaller than in the past, and only in the Pacifi c Ocean. T e major- ity of whales migrate along the coast of North American And Baja Mexico, and a small group migrates to Korea. T ere are about 22,000 gray whales today, and they are still endangered. See the full story about the whale

watching experience in Guerrero Negro in the Spring issue of Destino Los Cabos:

46 Best’s Golf Guide to Los Cabos


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