Beluga Whales

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(CC) Photo: Ansgar Walk
A pod of Beluga Whales in the Churchill River, Manitoba.jpg

Beluga whales are a species of toothed whales who live in Arctic waters.[1]

Beluga whales are born grey, and are white when mature.[2] They grow to a maximum size of 5 metres, and 1,360 kilograms. Unlike other cetaceans the Beluga Whale has no dorsal fin, having a dorsal ridge instead, which is believed to make it easier to navigate under the ice-pack.

The most southerly range of the whales is the estuary of the St. Lawrence River.[1] In more northern waters they are able to breathe by finding polynas -- stretches of open water that tear open in the ice-pack due to stresses as the pack travels.[2]

They were a traditional prey of First Nations peoples.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Delphinapterus leucas – Vulnerable. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2007). Retrieved on 2008-08-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Delphinapterus leucas: Beluga Whale, Marine Bio. Retrieved on 2008-08-26.