The Belugas Play at the Surface of the Deep Blue Sea
by Sienna Murray, age 12
The white whales are among the smallest species of whales. They are known as belugas.
Belugas’ colors track their age. As calves, they are gray and brown but they fade to white by age five. Their colors fade to white. They grow 13 to 20 feet long. Female belugas usually weigh about 1,99 pounds and males weigh 3,000 pounds. Belugas are distinguished by rounded foreheads, called melons, and their lack of dorsal fins.
Belugas are also known as toothed whales. Searching for food, they swim deep into the waters for food to eat, like fish, worms and crustaceans.
White whales are not exactly the same as other whales. They have a flexible, bendable neck that can go in all different directions. Although they can dive for food up to 1.5 miles deep in ocean, they are happy to spend most of their time being playful at the surface.
Belugas are found in the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, but also in the sub-Arctic waters. Beluga whales migrate in herds when the Artic Sea freezes over.
Beluga whales are hunted by Arctic people and commercial fisheries. Overfishing has significantly reduced numbers of belugas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the coast of Quebec.
[Sources: National Geographic Kids; Sporcle.com]