The Life of Animals | Beluga whale | The beluga or white whale, Delphinapterus leucas, is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean. This marine mammal is commonly Referred to simply as the Beluga or Sea Canary due to its high-pitched twitter It is up to 5 m (16 ft) in length and an unmistakable all-white color with a distinctive protuberance on the head. Populations of seven Canadian beluga, two are listed as endangered, inhabiting eastern Hudson Bay, and Ungava Bay.
In 1776, Peter Simon Pallas first described the beluga It is a member of the family Monodontidae, the which is in turn part of the toothed whale suborder of The Irrawaddy dolphin was once placed in the same series; however, recent genetic evidence Suggests Otherwise The narwhal is The only other species within the Monodontidae besides the beluga The Red List of Threatened Species Both Gives and white beluga whale as common names, though the former is now more popular. It is Sometimes Referred to by Scientists as the belukha whale to avoid confusion with the beluga sturgeon.
A Japanese researcher says he taught a beluga to "talk" by using these sounds to identify three different objects, offering Hope that Humans may one day be Able to Communicate effectively with sea Mammals Female belugas are larger than females. Calves, however, are usually gray That Its head is unlike any other of cetaceans. The beluga's melon is extremely bulbous and even malleable The beluga is Able to change the shape of its head by blowing water around its sinuses. Unlike many Dolphins and whales, the vertebrae in the neck are not Fused together, allowing the animal to turn its head laterally.
Belugas have a dorsal ridge, rather than a dorsal fin the absence of the dorsal fin is reflected in the genus name of the species-apterus the Greek word for "wingless." The beluga inhabits a discontinuous Circumpolar distribution in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters ranging from 50 ° N to 80 ° N, particularly along the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Russia. Lawrence River estuary and the Saguenay fjord, around the village of Tadoussac, Quebec, in the Atlantic and the Amur River delta, the Shantar Surrounding Islands and the waters of Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk
In the spring, the Beluga moves to its summer grounds: bays, estuaries and other shallow inlets. These summer sites are discontinuous. Beluga may also find pockets of water trapped under the ice. The beluga's ability to find the thin slivers of open water within a dense ice pack may cover more than That 96% of the surface mystifies Scientists. Its echo-location capabilities are highly adapted to the sub-ice sea's Peculiar acoustics and it has been suggested That belugas can sense open water through echo-location.
Experts Those Identified as the bones of a beluga. Today, the Charlotte whale aids in the study of the geology and the history of the Champlain Basin and this fossil is now the official Vermont State Fossil (making Vermont the only official state fossil Whose Is that of a still extant animal). On June 9, 2006, a young beluga carcass was found in the Tanana River near Fairbanks in central Alaska, Nearly 1.700 kilometers (1,100 mi) from the nearest ocean habitats. Sometimes Belugas follow migrating fish, leading Alaska state biologist Tom Seaton to speculate That it Had Followed salmon migrating up the river at some point in the prior fall. Belugas are highly Sociable. Groups of males may number in the Hundreds, while mothers with calves Generally mix in slightly Smaller groups. Pods growing niche to be unstable, meaning That They growing niche to move from pod to pod. Mothers and calves form the beluga's Closest social relationships. Belugas can be playful, They may spit at Humans or other whales. Unlike most whales, it is capable of swimming backwards. Female belugas typically give birth to one calf every three years Most Occurs ing the between February and May, but some ing Occurs at other times of year. It is questionable whether the beluga has delayed implantation gestation Lasts 12 to 14.5 months Calves are born over a protracted period, That varies by location. The global population of belugas today stands at about 100,000. There are estimated to be 40.000 individuals in the Beaufort Sea, Hudson Bay in 25.045, 18.500 in the Bering Sea, and 28.008 in the Canadian Low Arctic. The population in the St. Lawrence estuary is estimated to be around 1.000 It is Considered an excellent sentinel species (indicators of environment health and changes).
Because the Beluga congregates in river estuaries, pollution is proving to be a significant health danger. Levels the between 240 ppm and 800 ppm of PCBs have been found, with males typically having higher levels, the long-term effects of this pollution on the affected Populations is not known. While some Populations tolerate small boats, others actively try to avoid ships. Indigenous Whaling Continues in these areas, and some Populations continue to decline. As of 2008, the beluga is listed as "near Threatened" by the IUCN, due to uncertainty about the number of belugas over parts of its range (ESPECIALLY the Russian Arctic), and the expectation That Efforts cease if current conservation, ESPECIALLY hunting management , the beluga population is Likely to qualify for "Threatened" status within five years. Prior to 2008, the beluga was listed as "vulnerable", a higher level of concern. IUCN cited the stability of the largest subpopulations and improved census methods That indicate a larger population than Previously estimated To Prevent hunting, belugas are protected under the International Moratorium on Commercial Whaling; however, small amounts of Beluga Whaling are still allowed.
To Prevent whales from coming in contact with industrial waste, the Alaskan and Canadian Governments are Relocating and waste sites where whales come in contact. Healthy captive belugas are Important Because They are one of the only whales found in many marine aquariums. The high numbers of Captives adds to the threat to the beluga population, while Their carcasses Contribute to scientific research. The Cook Inlet subpopulation is listed as "Critically Endangered" by the IUCN as of 2006 of The Cook Inlet beluga population is listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act as of October 2008. This was due to overharvesting of belugas prior to 1998. The beluga whale is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).