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Beluga Whale

Page history last edited by wikiuser0046 11 years, 10 months ago






This is how the Beluga Whale (Delphindapterus D.leucas) is classified.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Monodontidae
Genus: Delphinapterus
Species: D. leucas




The Beluga Whale  is a warm blooded artic species of cetacean usually aroung 15ft long and weighing in at 2,400 -3,500 lb. It stays warm using a thick layer of blubber. To communicate with each other, they use echolocation. They can be found in the oceans of Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Russia. They are closley related to the narwhal and the dolphin.



The Beluga Whale can be found in the arctic oceans of Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Russia. They can also be found in Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Beaufort Sea, Baffin Bay, Hudson Bay, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During the summer most belugas inhabit the icy waters of the arctic and the subarctic where temperatures can be as low as -32.  To adapt to these environments the whale can swim up to speeds of 13.6 mph. They can swim forward and backwards. They usually dive down to depths as low as 66ft but when in need to they can dive down to extreme depths of 2,123ft. When diving the blood of a beluga is shunted from areas of low oxygen levels to the heart, lungs and brain when oxygen is needed.


http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/staticfiles/NGS/Shared/StaticFiles/animals/images/maps/map-beluga-whale.gif  (yellow indicates where the Beluga Whale lives)


(these are links to range maps of belugas) 





The beluga whale communicates using echolocation. Echolocation is the ability that some animals have that enables them to locate and descriminate objects by listening for echoes. The beluga uses high pitched clicking sounds that lets them recieve and interpret the resulting echo. The Belugas call's are so loud they can be heard above the water. The whale's brain picks up the sound waves in nerve impulses and allow the brain to interpret the message. The noises they make are made by the nasal passages and the blowhole. (see link) As these sounds are being made the melon or head changes shape. The melon (which is filled with oil) plays a part in echolocation.

And no other whale can produce such a high frequency sound as the beluga whale.



Listen to the Beluga Whales.



(down at the bottom) 



  • The beluga whale usually reaches full grown size in about 10 years, and has an average life span of 35-50  years.
  • Adult belugas are yellowish-white to creamy white. Belugas get their white coloration upon reaching full adult size.
  • Like most other whales the beluga lacks hair as adults.
  • A beluga has pectoral flippers which are long paddle-like flippers that have major skelatal elements of land animals. These flippers are supported by connective tissues. The beluga uses these flippers mainly to steer and blood circulation in these flippers helps maintain body heat.
  • These whales also have flukes. Flukes are each lobe of the tail, a deep median notch separates the two flukes on the whales tail. These are connected completely by tough, dense, tissues with absolutley no bone at all. Muscles in the back of the whale help to move these flukes.
  • Belugas have very few traces of hind limbs but what they do have are two reduced rod shaped pelvic bones which are deep inside body muscle. These limbs are NOT connected to the vertabre.
  • One of the most important features of the whale is the dorsal fin, but the beluga whale lacks it! So it has a dorsal ridge. This runs from just behind the midpoint of the back to the tail flukes, usually notched, formed from a series of small bumps and usually dark gray.
  • They have small distinct beaks perfect for eating the animals it eats. Belugas have an average of 34 teeth.
  • One of the belugas most important features would definitly be the melon (holds oils). It is located on the dorsal surface on the whales head.
  • The Beluga uses it's blowhole to breath. The blowhole is located on the top of its head and is covered by a muscular flap. The flap provides a water proof seal. The blowhole is closed in a relaxed position, to open the blowhole the beluga opens the flap.
  • The Beluga also has a very good sense of hearing. Belugas also have good eyesight both underwater and above water. But the whale has no sense of smell. 
  • The belugas are among the most social of whales. They play together and rub against each other.




The Beluga whale is a carnivore who will eat almost any sea critter smaller than itself. It's main diet includes of squid, octopus, crab, shrimp, fish, tunas, harpseal, and very very very rarely humans. But when the whale becomes the meal the animal eating it would be a killer whale (orca) or a polar bear. 

 If the whale is being attacked it will swim away as fast as it can (flight) it is very unlikley that is will fight back.




  • The beluga whale can turn it's head in every direction since the vertabre in it's neck are not fused.
  • The beluga whale molts seasonaly not like many other mammels do.
  • Most whales have dorsal fins but the beluga whale does not.
  • Beluga whales are the smartest animals on earth with an IQ of 155.
  • The word Beluga means white in Russian, which is why they got the nickname Sea Canaries
  • Females are called cows and males are called bulls.
  • The Latin name of this whale can be interpreted in the following way:

    Delphin = dolphin

    A = without

    Pterus = horn 

  • leucas = white

    So, in short, “the white dolphin without a horn”.

    (here horn could mean dorsal fin)
  • No other whale can produce such high frequency sounds as a beluga whale can.
  • Belugas never jump out of the water like dolphins do.




A symbiotic relationship is a close relationship between two different species. A example of a symbiotic relationship for a beluga whale is:

The Beluga Whale and the Bug (can not find exact scientific name)

The Bug goes in the whales ear causing severe damage, which impacts the quality of the whales echolocation greatly. This symbiotic relationship is an example of parasitism, meaning the bug benifits because the bug is getting nutrition and the whale is harmed because the bug causes damage to the whales hearing and echolocation ability.


















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 Beluga Whales.ppt




















Killer Whales and other Toothed Whales.

By: Julie A. Fenton

Pgs. 56

copyright date: 2001


Comments (9)

wikiuser0011 said

at 7:17 am on Dec 2, 2008

This site must have taken along time nice job


wikiuser0055 said

at 12:32 pm on Dec 2, 2008

This looks very nice! Be sure to include a picture.
Keep up the good work,
Mrs. G

wikiuser0044 said

at 5:12 pm on Dec 2, 2008

Good job Emma!

wikiuser0045 said

at 5:21 pm on Dec 2, 2008

wow great job !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


wikiuser0046 said

at 8:26 pm on Dec 3, 2008

thanks guys

wikiuser0011 said

at 9:01 pm on Dec 3, 2008

It's really good!! It must have taken u along time.


wikiuser0046 said

at 9:36 pm on Dec 3, 2008

thanks bryce!

wikiuser0009 said

at 7:51 am on Dec 4, 2008

wow nice emma!! keep it up!!!


wikiuser0046 said

at 10:03 am on Dec 4, 2008


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