Once again one of those pictures that made me smile – taken from one of the forwarded emails I received recently (author is unknown to me). A cute little girl and a Beluga whale are posing in front of someone’s camera. If there’s such a thing as a symbol of the blissful beasts – this beluga could be it!
Belugas or white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) are one of the easiest to recognize because of their unusual (white) color. Calves are born brown or grey and then their color slowly fades into white as they grow up.
Beluga whales are known to be very social, vocal communicators who can mimic many sounds – and they live in small groups, called pods. Another common name for beluga is a sea canary – due to its high-pitched twitter.
White whales are commonly found in the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean and in subarctic waters.
Photo “Beluga Whale” – courtesy of jessi.bryan
Some unusual facts about beluga whales:
- during the summer some calves return to the same estuary as their mother – to meet her there – sometimes even after they are fully mature
- playful belugas will spit at the humans or other whales
- unlike most whales, white whales can swim backwards
- their life span can be more than 50 years
Photo “Beluga Whale” – courtesy of UknowIt
- Nature’s Great Events: Beluga whale spa (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Albino beluga whale’s squashed nose as he takes closer look at aquarium visitors (dailymail.co.uk)
- What is so special about the white whale? (holykaw.alltop.com)