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What Do You Know About Beluga Whales?


What Do You Know About Beluga Whales?

Belugas are also known as white whales, as well as their distinctive hue makes them one of the most well-known and identifiable animals. Calves are born brown or gray, and they only turn white when they reach sexual maturity around the age of five.


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Belugas live in pods, which are small groupings of belugas. They are gregarious animals who use various whistles, clicks and clangs to communicate with one another. Belugas can also imitate a wide range of sounds.


Migration and Population Range

The Arctic Ocean’s coastal waters are home to these whales, but they can also be found in subarctic regions. Whenever the sea freezes over, large herds of Arctic belugas travel south. Killer whales, Polar bears, and Arctic people eat animals trapped by Arctic ice, and they are food for killer whales, polar bears, and Arctic humans. They are targeted by indigenous peoples in the north and commercial fisheries, which have nearly wiped out some populations, like those in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Fish, crabs, and worms are among the foods eaten by Beluga whales. The whale is linked to the narwhal, a tusked “unicorn” whale. The beluga is unrelated to the beluga sturgeon, which has been severely fished for its caviar.


Diet and Behavior

Belugas are gregarious creatures. Each summer, they travel to their birth sites to eat and calve. The number of whales in a group might vary from one or two to several hundred. Belugas are known as the “sea canaries” because they make various sounds such as whistles, moos, chirps, squeals, and clicks. They use sound to locate and hunt for prey, relying on their hearing and capacity to echolocate. Belugas have excellent vision both in and out of the water. Octopus, snails, squid, shrimp, crabs, clams, and sandworms are among the foods eaten by Beluga whales. Salmon, cod, eulachon, smelt, herring, and flatfish are among the fish they consume.


Where do they live?

The Arctic Ocean and its surrounding waters in the Polar Regions are home to beluga whales. Many parts of Alaska, and also Russia, Canada, and Greenland have them. During the summer, belugas can be found in shallow coastal waters, often in shallow water. They can be seen in deeper waters at other seasons, diving to depths of 1,000 meters for up to 25 minutes. In arctic & subarctic waters, wherein temperatures can drop to 32°F, they swim around ice floes. Belugas often visit estuaries and big river deltas on a seasonal basis to graze on fish runs, indicating that they are well-adapted to both chilly ocean and somewhat warmer freshwater environments.


Beluga Whales: Interesting Facts

  1. Beluga whales can reach a length of 16 feet (4.8 meters) and weigh 3,150 pounds (1.4 tons) on average.

  2. Beluga whales have a life expectancy of up to 50 years.

  3. Beluga whales are initially dark gray and gradually lighten as they grow older, eventually becoming white when sexual maturity is attained.

  4. Beluga whales can swim to depths of over 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) and stay below for up to 25 minutes.

  5. Beluga whales are found in Arctic waters and occasionally enter freshwater rivers.

  6. Beluga whales lose their skin by scratching against coarse gravel in the summer.

  7. Beluga whales, unlike other whales, don’t even have fused neck vertebrae, begin to move their heads up, down, and side to side.

  8. Beluga whales possess bulbous, floppy foreheads known as “melons,” which aid in producing sound and displaying facial expressions.

  9. Beluga whales are called as the “sea canaries” because they make various sounds such as clicks, whistles, chirps, and squeals.

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