The beautiful arctic creatures, Beluga Whales attract a lot of attention not just because of their lack of the dorsal fins but also their beautiful color. These huge whales live in the cold waters of Arctic but are unfortunately kept in captivity due to their decreasing numbers. In comparison to all other whales or even dolphins, the Beluga Whales are kept under watch by the conservation groups. Their decreased numbers are mostly caused due to their friendly nature along with the added irresponsible behaviour of the human species. These white whales are friendly to nature but if they are not protected, they might soon become extinct from the face of earth.
Here are some interesting features that make Beluga whales special. Let’s read about these facts here:
BELUGA’S SWALLOW THEIR FOOD
Despite of having teeth in their jaws, Beluga whales don’t chew the food they eat. Instead they simply swallow their whole prey at once.
BIG GESTATION PERIOD
The Beluga whale has a gestation period of 14 to 15 months. This is the time between conception and the birth of a calf. A female beluga whale gives birth to a calf just once in 2 years. Every newborn calf is almost 5 ft in length and nurses from his mother for upto 2 years, which is a pretty long time.
ALSO CALLED MELONHEADS
The beluga whales are sometimes also referred as Melonheads because of their huge bulbous head shape that is seen in their foreheads. The organ inside their forehead helps them in echolocation which is a process where the beluga uses echoes to locate or even identify things or objects around them. It also is seen to change shape during vocalization. The beluga whale is also known as Sea Canary for its different vocal range. Until date, scientists have mostly documented 11 different sounds by the beluga whales. Each of these sounds resemble to sounds like chirps, mews, clicks, whistle, bleats and tones similar to bells.
Like Dolphins, the beluga whales are also smart sea creatures that are known for saving people. There have been circumstances where these beautiful creatures have saved the lives of people by pushing them to the surface of the water and stopping them from drowning. In fact in 2009, a diver was saved by a beluga whale while she was participating in a competition.
A FLEXIBLE NECK
Unlike all other huge sea creatures, the Beluga whale has a comparatively stronger and flexible neck that helps them to move their head in all directions such as left, right, up and down. This neck movement helps the whales to spot their prey in the water easily.
IMITATE HUMAN VOICE
The Beluga whales that live under human captivity in the conservatories are known to imitate human voices. Mimicking the human voice but seems natural for these amazing creatures especially when you consider their smartness and learning abilities. However, keeping them under such unnatural habitat is not a good thing for these whales.
The Beluga whales live a long life that is almost 70 to 80 years. But if kept under captivity, the life period of these whales almost gets shortened to half the real age.