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Nerini, 1984) is of special significance. , 1981). During benthic feeding the whales hold a large quantity of soft sludge, sand, and pebbles in their mouth (one of the stomachs had about 10 buckets** of these). It is presumed that a single intake of gray whale may be equal to 200300 kg. The average daily requirement of food of adult gray whales is about 1,000-1,200 kg (Zimushko and Lenskaya, 1971; Rice and Wolman, 1971; Brodie, 1975). In the period of intensive feeding in the foraging areas in northern waters, gray whales fatten rapidly accumulating energy resources ahead of the difficult and food-poor winter.

At the end of September-early October gray whales commence departure from the Chukchi Sea and northern part of the Bering Sea. © 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 50 They follow the same course as in the spring, but in reverse direction. Pregnant cows are the first to leave the northern waters. Many barren females hold here until October and even later. Examination of their physiological condition (corpora lutea on the ovaries and relatively well-developed mammary glands) indicated that these females had terminated suckling recently and had fed energetically prior to migration and wintering (Blokhin, 1982).

The distance from tip of snout to anterior margin of the pectoral fin and to the eyes, as also the width of the pectoral fins is slightly more than in whales of the Okhotsk-Korean population. In the latter, the baleen plates are longer, and their number in the row and the number of furrows on the chin are less (Mizue, 1951; Zimushko and Ivashin, 1980). The Okhotsk-Korean population lives on the eastern coast of Asia from the Korean Peninsula to the Sea of Okhotsk inclusively. Dispersals of these whales are known to the southeastern coasts of Kamchatka.

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