Moby Dick
Did You Know?
Moby Dick gets her name because she has a whiter pigmentation than most other gray whales, much like the famous white sperm whale in Moby Dick.

About Moby Dick

We have seen Moby Dick many times along the Oregon coast during our research efforts since 2016, both in our Newport/Depoe Bay study region and near Port Orford. But her data history goes back further, as the WHET Lab [TL1] in the Marine Mammal Institute at OSU satellite tagged her in 2009

We have observed Moby Dick feeding with many different tactics, including headstanding, side-swimming, bubble blasts below the water, and sediment streaming from her mouth at the surface. Gray whales in Oregon feed on multiple zooplankton species using many different tactics to capture their prey. Watch this video to see some of Moby Dick’s foraging behaviors we have documented from drone footage, and you’ll understand why we call gray whales “bendy whales”. You can also learn more about how we study gray whale behavior and what we are learning at this

Facts and Figures

Moby Dick's Health History

We fly drones over whales and then measure how skinny or fat they are from the images we capture. We compare the body condition of whales using an index called the Body Area Index (BAI), which is like the Body Mass Index (BMI) used to compare the body condition of humans. Small BAI values mean the whale is skinnier and larger BAI values indicate the whale is fatter.