Comments: In the southern Chukchi Sea and northern Bering Sea, gray whales eat mainly tube-dwelling gammaridean amphipods; also various other small bottom invertebrates in small quantity. In the southern Bering Sea along the eastern Alaska Peninsula and adjacent Alaskan mainland, shrimp and mysids are the major prey. In Puget Sound, the whales feed on epibenthic ghost shrimp in littoral sand flats (Weitkamp et al. 1992). Elsewhere feeding is less common and prey may include swarms of amphipods, cumaceans, mysids, and infaunal polychaetes.
Gray whales employ a feeding technique not used by other large whales. While swimming forward and rolling to one side they run the head along the bottom and filter small invertebrates from the mud-water interface. They also may ingest invertebrates associated with masses of algae that are scraped through the mouth.