Gulf of California Facts

Gulf of California Facts
The Gulf of California is the body of water located between the Mexican mainland and the Baja California Peninsula. The Gulf of California is also known as the Sea of Cortez, and is considered to be one of the world's most diverse seas. There are portions of the Gulf of California that have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Gulf of California is 700 miles long at its maximum and between 10 and 150 miles wide at various points. It covers an area of 62,000 square miles. There are three faunal regions within the Gulf of California including the Northern Gulf, Central Gulf, and Southern Golf of California.
Interesting Gulf of California Facts:
The French explorer Jacques Cousteau once described the Gulf of California as the 'world's aquarium' because of its extremely diverse marine life.
The largest animal in the world - the blue whale - uses the Golf of California as its breeding grounds.
The Gulf of California has a coastline that stretches approximately 2,500 miles along Sinaloa, Sonora, Baja California Sur, and Baja California.
Several rivers flow into the Gulf of California, including the Yaqui, the Sonora, the Sinaloa, the Mayo, the Fuerte, and the Colorado River.
The Baja California Peninsula, which stretches along the west coast of the Gulf of California, is the world's second longest peninsula. The first is Southeast Asia's Malay Peninsula.
The Gulf of California's temperature in the winter can drop to 16 degrees Celsius and in the summer it reaches highs of 24 degrees Celsius.
Sometimes the northern Gulf of California's temperatures drop low enough in the winter to result in large numbers of marine organisms dying off. Most commonly this is macroscopic algae and plankton.
It is believed that the Gulf of California was formed about 5.3 million years ago as a result of the Baja California Peninsula being rifted from the North American Plate by tectonic forces.
The Gulf of California is usually protected from the waves that hit most of the North American shoreline by the Baja California Peninsula. When storms do hit however they can do a lot of damage to the shoreline. These types of storms are referred to as a chubasco.
Migratory species that make their way to the Gulf of California include the blue whale, the California gray whale, the humpback whale, the killer whale, the leatherback sea turtle, the Humboldt squid, and the manta ray.
The Gulf of California is a world famous fishing spot. It is also a popular commercial fishing location. The two main fish that Mexico fishes from the Gulf of California are anchovies and sardines. Shrimp are also commonly fished from the gulf.
There are 37 islands in the Gulf of California. The largest of these islands are Tiburon Island and Isla Angel de la Guarda.
It is believed that many of the islands in the Gulf of California were formed from volcanic activity.
The smallest porpoise in the world and also the most endangered is found only in the Gulf of California. It is the vaquita.

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