Beluga whales are some of the most recognizable animals in the world. They have a variety of interesting features that make them stand out from other marine mammals, and one of those is their lack of knees! Read on to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
Belugas live exclusively in shallow water where they can hunt for food like fish, squid or shrimp by using echolocation to send signals through the air and detect how far away an object is. When they get close enough to it, they use binocular vision as well.
A beluga’s skin color ranges from white to dark grey with patches on top that may be lighter than its backside, giving it alternate names such as “sea canary” or “sea elephant.” Their skin is also very smooth and slippery, which helps them glide through the water.
Beluga whales are one of three types of cetaceans that do not have a kneecap because their patella (kneecap) slides forward instead. This means they use muscles in their leg to power movement.
A beluga’s nose has two holes on top called nostrils where it breathes out air from its lungs while taking in fresh air through slits along its sides – this prevents water from getting into the animal’s respiratory system when it dives underwater for long periods of time.
Male belugas grow up to 18 feet long and weigh about 2400
pounds. They can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and jump as high as 12 feet out of the water, which they do in order for their heads to appear taller so females will be persuaded into mating with them
Beluga whales are herbivorous and eat clams, snails, capelin (a small fish), krill (tiny shrimp like creatures) or other crustaceans found on the ocean floor.
Beluga whales have no kneecaps because their patella slides forward instead–meaning they use muscles in their leg to power movement. A beluga’s nose has two holes on top called nostrils where it breathes out air from its lungs while taking in fresh air through slits along the sides of the head.
Belugas do not have any teeth and instead, use a horny pad on their tongue called baleen to filter food out from water. Baleen is made up of rows of stiff hairs that are attached together with coarse material such as keratin or tiny pieces of bone in order for it to be strong enough to withstand pressure while still being flexible enough so they can move around
Males only reach sexual maturity when they’re about six years old but females develop at four years old. They will mate every two weeks during the peak mating season which lasts five months between July through November
The beluga’s lifespan can range anywhere from 20 – 45 years–if it reaches adulthood without succumbing to any external causes such as pollution, hunting or fishing
The beluga’s scientific name is Delphinapterus leucas which means “white dolphin” and they’re also known as the sea canary because of their high pitched squeaks. Interestingly enough, when it sees its reflection in a mirror it becomes very excited–so much so that it will try to poke at the image with its nose!
Belugas are considered an endangered species due to overhunting by humans but scientists believe there may be around 100 thousand individuals left in the wild. Despite this number being both larger than originally thought (30 years ago) and down from up to 200 thousand during Soviet times, conservationists continue to worry about what could happen if the beluga is hunted again.
The dorsal fin of a male can be used to tell males and females apart–females have two white spots, while males only have one spot on their fins.
Belugas are often seen in groups which some scientists think may help them “chill out”. They’re also very social animals who live together with other whales such as narwhals, Pacific white-sided dolphins or gray whales. In fact, they sometimes even do things like steal fish from each others mouths (or butts) just for fun!
A female’s gestation period lasts about 15 months so this means that a lot of baby belugas must be born every year because there are around