Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The PICWW 2: Devil Fish They Ain't
This is the second edition in my Politically Incorrect Whale Watcher series. Today I will talk about the Gray Whale who your kind calls Devil Fish. First, let us deal with this unfortunate appellation; Gray Whales are not devils and they certainly are not fish. They got that name because of the aggressive way they behaved after being harpooned…hello! What would you do if some ugly little biped on a boat shot a razor sharp projectile into your back that exploded upon contact rupturing a lung or other organ? In your case, of course, you would be quite dead; but unfortunately for the great whales, they usually did not die quickly: and in the case of Gray Whales, they would often attack the boat. Nothing devilish about that, at least not on the part of the whale. Having said this, I will acknowledge that the Gray Whale is one of the least attractive of all whales. They have mottled skin with barnacles and whale lice (uuugh) all over their bodies, especially about the head. This is because they are unique among whales in that they are bottom-feeders, sucking up sediment containing amphipods from the sea floor, and unfortunately, parasites as well. So there you have it: as unattractive as they may be, devil fish they most certainly are not.