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Facts On Beluga Whales

by Dana Ward on Aug 28, 2010 3

facts on beluga whalesThere are some interesting facts on Beluga Whales that make them popular with whale enthusiasts.

If you visit a whale exhibit at an aquarium, the beluga whale is most likely going to be the type you see.  There are some good reasons for this.

But my favorite characteristic of belugas is the way they seem to be able to change the shape of their head.  They seem to make expressions and are great to photograph.

Some call the beluga a white whale.  Of course, that is because when they are fully grown up they look white.  When they are young they are actually gray in color.  Young whales are known as “Calves.”

Another nickname of the beluga whale is “sea canary.”  It gets this name because it makes a high pitched sound to communicate.  The sound is called a “twitter.”

Like many species of the world, the male is larger than the female beluga.  facts on beluga whales 2The males can grow to be 18 feet long and the females can reach 13 feet in length.

This is a picture of a male and female beluga whale at the Atlanta Aquarium.

There are reasons why you are most likely to see beluga whales at aquariums.  They are small as compared to other whale species.  They have interesting features that are especially interesting to visitors.  Their neck vertebrae are not fused together which allows the animal to make what appears to us humans as different facial expressions.

More Facts On Beluga Whales

The beluga whale is a toothed whale and therefore has what is called a “melon.”   It is an organ found in the forehead and it is made up of fatty or oily tissue.

Belugas are different from other whales in their class in that they can change the shape of this bump.  It is part of the nose.  The whale can blow air through the sinus cavity, and change the shape of their head.  To some people this changing shape looks like a deformity.  To other people, the shape shifting is a beautiful fascinating quality that makes beluga whales their favorite kind of whale.

I could go on and on about the facts of beluga whales, but it really is the fact that they can change shape that’s so interesting to me.

P.S. If you ever have a chance to visit the Atlanta Aquarium, I suggest you visit this exhibit.  However, if you aren’t able to get to Atlanta, or any of the other great aquariums, I found the next best thing.  It is a fabulous book by Tony Martin called “Beluga Whales.” This book tells about the facts on beluga whales and includes incredible, beautiful pictures.


  1. Bob

    May 05th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    This is very COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


  2. Admin

    September 11th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Satu. Yes, dolphins also have “bumps on their head.” It is called a “mellon.” 🙂


  3. Satu

    September 11th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Interesting! Beluga whales are not exactly what comes to mind when I think about whales. Don’t dolphins also have some kind of bumps on their head?


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