The Beluga Whale
Richard Kolar\Animals Animals
The beluga whale, or Delphinapterus leucas is also known as the white whale, or
the 'sea canary.' Being very vocal, the beluga
whale was named the 'sea canary' because of it's audible chirps and clicks.
The beluga has the most complex vocal repertoire of any other whale. Belugas are
the only true white whale, 'beluga' means 'white one' in Russian. They grow to about 3 to
5 meters, although the actual size varies among populations. The
male is larger than the female, and they can weigh between 500 and 1,500 kilograms.
They have no dorsal fin, but do have a ridge that runs along their back. They may
live to be anywhere from 25 to 30 years old. The beluga has a great mobility in it's neck
and in facial features, which are it's most remarkable qualities. It has 8 to 11 pairs of
irregular, often curved, teeth in its upper jaw, and 8 to 9 pairs in the lower jaw.
They are white from the age of 2 but are born slate-grey or reddish-brown changing to blue-grey.
Beluga whales can be found in circumpolar waters, mainly in the Arctic but they can be found
in subarctic, and occupying mainly coastal and estuarine areas often among the pack ice.
Population size is known only for certain areas or regions but it is estimated that they have a total population between 40,000 to 55,000. These are mainly found in Baffin Bay, Davis Strait, the Barents, and the Kara
and Laptev Seas. Numbers were reduced in eastern Canada by historical over-exploitation. Because of the hunting rate, future populations are predicted to decline in eastern Canada,
the Barents and the White Sea.
Andrea Vanessa & Erica @ the Advanced Technologies Academy