Before we get today’s Wild Fact started, I wanted to wish a Happy Birthday to Jamie who is responsible for suggesting today’s fact on the Beluga Whale. I was in shock when he informed me that I had yet to complete a Wild Fact on this amazing animal. Thank you Jamie for suggesting today’s animal and I hope you have a great birthday! The Beluga Whale is also known as the White Whale as a result of their unique white colouring. This colouring makes the Beluga one of the easiest whales to identify. So let’s see if we can locate a few of these incredible animals to learn a little more, shall we?
The “Small” Whale
The Beluga Whale isn’t the largest whale out there with an average length between 4 and 6.1 metres (13 to 20 feet). Males are typically a little larger than their female counterparts and have been known to weigh up to 1900 kg (4200 lbs). It is funny how we consider a whale of this size to be “small” but I guess it is all relative. The most conspicuous feature of the White Whale is the their unique, rounded forehead, which is known as the melon. The forehead of the Beluga is incredibly bulbous and is slightly malleable. The cool thing about this melon is the fact that the whale can change the shape of it simply by blowing air into their sinuses. This would be a great party trick.
Beluga Whales are social animals that will typically live in small groups called pods, however, these groups have been known to get as large as 100 individuals. To communicate with each other, the Beluga uses a variety of clicks, whistles and clangs. As well, they have been known to mimic a variety of sounds. This communication is important since these pods will migrate long distances. And I am sure the trip goes a lot quicker if you can carry on a conversation with your travel buddies. The White Whale migrates south prior to the freezing of the Arctic Ocean, however, some whales won’t make it out before the ocean freezes, which typically results in death. I guess this is another important reason to be able to communicate with your pod members.
That does it for today’s Wild Fact. I hope you enjoy your day and have a great New Years. I will see you on Monday for the first Wild Fact of 2012.