Beluga Whales - Delphinapterus leucas|
The snow-white Beluga whale is one of the most distinctive of all cetaceans. The stocky body ends in a particularly small head, and adults develop their striking white coloring as they mature.
These whales can grow to about 20 feet in length and weigh between 1 to 2 tons.
They lack a dorsal fin and unlike most cetaceans, beluga whales have an extremely flexible neck and can turn their head almost 90 degrees to the side. Their lips are also flexible and can form a variety of facial expressions. They have a very thick layer of blubber which may be up to 6 inches thick that provides insulation in the freezing arctic waters. |
Beluga whales use a wide range of vocalisations such as clicks, grunts, squeals, screeches and whistles. These sounds can be heard through the hulls of ships and the beluga whale was nicknamed the 'sea canary' by early Arctic sailors.
Visit the Humpback Whale and Killer Whale
and Blue Whale
pages to see photos of these other great whales as well.
Click on the Great Whale videos to see these incredible cetaceans in action
and read his
article on whale photography.
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