Click on the picture to learn more!
At a glance the beluga
resembles a large chubby dolphin. Delphinapteras
leucas, its scientific name, even means white dolphin without a fin. This
is because on a beluga there is not a dorsal fin only a hard ridge on its creamy
white body. However belugas are not always white.
start out muddy brown and their color gets lighter and lighter until at the age
of 6 or 7 they become creamy white. Belugas may live until 30 and old animals
turn a yellowish ivory color. The
are 5ft. and weigh 170 lbs. When born they are pink but soon change to a dark
gray color. At age 6 or 7 the belugas are creamy white, but may have some spots
on the tail. The more you read about this creature the more interesting it
becomes so read on!
Belugas communicate between
each other and are very social animals.
can reach 100s or
even 1,000s of animals. These pods travel regularly into freshwater rivers for
feeding and calving. Beluga babies are born in July and August after the adults
migrate. Females have one baby about every three years. The babies are called
calves. Calves are in many ways like human babies. Just imagine being a beluga!
have a few enemies. Their enemies include killer whales and polar bears. Killer
whales are a threat because they are swifter than their beluga prey. Belugas
usually travel at 5 mph but can do 20 if
It takes little effort for a killer whale to catch and kill a beluga. Polar
bears take advantage of a situation that occurs in fall when ice begins to form
on the inlets where belugas migrate. When this occurs belugas may become trapped
in the ice. Because the whales must surface to get air they are easy prey for
the powerful claws of the bears. In this same situation starvation may also kill
a beluga. Many things can kill a creature so always be gentle.
Belugas eat many different fish and invertebrates. They are not extremely
picky eaters. So, little fish beware!!!
nicknamed belugas sea canaries….but some people think they’re just plain
noisy! The sounds they make are all formed when air is pushed between two sacs.
The sacs are just below the
and are controlled with a belugas muscles.
bowhead whales, walruses and narwhals had large populations 150 yrs. ago. While
the population is lower belugas are still a familiar sight in the Artic.
Blues are baleen
whales. Baleen whales are usually bigger than toothed whales. The blue is
the largest creature on earth. The blues size on the inside…their heart is the
size of a sports car, their
arteries – drainpipes, and their
tongue weighs 4 tons!
The blue is a spotted blue gray
color. When alga sticks to a blue’s skin it gives its underside a yellowish
tint. Different whales have different colors and sizes so if you
see a Beluga don’t say you see a Blue!
The blues tail lies horizontally. It moves up and down. The flukes lie about 18
ft. across. Their sturdy pectoral fins are called flippers. Flippers help to
steer through water. So you’d better watch out!
How it lives
Blues mate during a winter breeding season. This season is different in
different hemispheres. In the northern hemisphere it is probably November to
February. In the southern hemisphere it would probably be May to August. Males
and females mate around the age of 10. The females mate every two or three
years. Blue Whale calves depend on their mother for food and protection. They
live on their mother’s milk for eight months. Obviously their helpless little
(I mean big) creatures. (Ok, so, maybe their not exactly helpless!)
Blues are mostly peaceful but can be
dangerous. However, they could never swallow a person, their throat openings to
small. Actually they feed on krill and other animals no bigger than your finger!
whales can go thirty mph, making them no match for their predator the Orcas
(killer whale). These whales can sometimes kill a blue. The Orcas can actually
eat almost any thing in the ocean, so little and big fish beware!