Baja California is a state at the northwestern corner of Mexico. It’s located in the peninsula of the same name, and it borders with the United States, more specifically with the states of Arizona and California. This Mexican state stands out thanks to its huge variety of marine wildlife at both sides of the peninsula, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Gulf of California to the east.
If you explore Baja California, you’ll find all kinds of beautiful, surprising and captivating animals. Here are a few:
Great white shark
The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) lives near the coast, where the water is shallower. Great white sharks have a huge range of habitats, and they prefer coastal areas where the water stays between 12 and 24 ºC (54 to 75 ºF).
The largest great white sharks in the world actually live in Baja California. They can be 3.35 to 4.90 m (11 to 16 ft) long, and females are longer than males, and much heavier. Great whites migrate for at least three months to an area near Hawaii every year. This place is actually called White Shark Café. The reasons why great white sharks migrate are still unknown.
The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is a kind of baleen whale that can be found in the Pacific Ocean between the Alaskan and Baja California waters, and also on the coasts of Northeast Asia.
Weighing 15 to 33 tons and measuring about 13 to 15 meters (43 to 45 ft) in length, the gray whale feeds on small crustaceans called krill that live in the seabed. It is a beautiful and amazing animal to observe due to its large size.
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is another species of marine mammal. It belongs to the weasel family, the Mustelidae. Adult males can reach 1.5 meters (4’11”) in length and a weight of 45 kilograms (99 lb). Females are smaller, as they measure between 1 and 1.4 m (3’3” to 4’7”) and weigh between up to 33 kilograms (73 lb). They are therefore one of the smallest marine mammals in the world.
Guadalupe fur seal
The Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) is a species of mammal that lives on the island of Guadalupe in the northwest of Mexico. Unlike sea lions, they are characterized by having very thin skin made up of two layers of hair, one thick and the other thin.
Guadalupe fur seals are heavy animals, weighing between 80 and 380 kilograms (175 to 840 lb). Like the gray whale, they are almost threatened. They are protected from sealing activities.
Northern elephant seal
The elephant seal is a genus consisting of two species that can be found along across the entire Pacific Ocean. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) live on the coasts North America, and they set up their breeding colonies in Baja California.
Northern elephant seals can reach a length of 5 meters (16 ft) and weigh almost 4 tonnes, although females are smaller.They feed on mollusks and all kinds of fish.
The harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), also called common seal, can be recognized thanks to the dark spots it has throughout their entire body. It is the most widespread type of seal, and its coat can be of different colors from white to brown or tan.
Common bottlenose dolphin
The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is the most common and widespread species of the more than thirty that make up the dolphin family, the Delphinidae. In the wild, bottlenose dolphins live in groups of about 12 to 15. However, they can be found in groups of hundreds or in pairs.