GRAY WHALE BARNACLE ( Cryptolepas rachianecti ), GRAY WHALE LICE (Cyamus kessleri, Cyamus ceti ).
As I was reading up on the Gray whale, which appeared in my neighborhood under a rather
sad circumstances, I came upon an interesting bits of information about two critters closely
associated with the gentle giant. Since the chances that I could get a closer look at these
while the whale is alive and well, I took the opportunity to take a second look at dead whale
and indeed I found what I was looking for. The Gray whale barnacle and the Gray whale lice
which make the giant their exclusive home. I always thought that the barnacles I see on
swimming whales in the wild are the ordinary ones, that grow on pilings and rocks. Not so.
Whidbey Island. April 24, 2011