Not all of our frosty friends live on the land. Some, like the Beluga Whale, live in the sea. Let’s explore these “chilly” facts about this “cool” critter.
Did you know?
- Beluga whales are also known as white whales. They are one of the smallest species on Earth.
- These whales live mostly in the cold coastal waters of the Arctic region.
- Belugas have large foreheads, and a flexible neck. They can nod and turn their heads in all directions.
- These whales do not have a top fin. This allows them to swim under the ice.
- The beluga whale has a five-inch-thick layer of blubber (12.7 cm). This helps protect them from the freezing water.
- Belugas are toothed whales. They have broad, paddle-like flippers, and notched tails.
- Scientific Name: Delphinapterus leucas
- Size: Up to 30 feet (6.1 m) long
- Weight: Up to 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg)
- Diet: Salmon, eulachon, tomcod, smelt, char, rainbow sole, whitefish, saffron and arctic cod, herring, shrimp, mussels, octopus, crabs, clams, mussels, snails and sandworms.
- Threats: Loss of habitat, fishing, and pollution.
- Lifespan: 35 to 50 years
Beluga whales can talk. They communicate with each other through squeaks, chirps, whistles, clicks, and other sounds.
These sea creatures like to forage for food in the water column and on the seabed. This typically takes place at depths of up to 1,000 feet (305 meters). Belugas can also dive to at least twice this depth.
Belugas congregate and travel in groups from 2-3 to as many as several hundred. Some even migrate (move to a different location many miles away). They are found close to shore or in the open sea. During the summer months in some areas they gather in the estuaries of rivers to feed and to give birth.
What do you think of our frosty friend the Beluga Whale? Leave us your comments!