What kind of animal is the beluga whale? Explanation of its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. Dolphins you can see at the aquarium.


What kind of animal is a beluga? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. This dolphin has white flesh and is found mainly in the Arctic Ocean. This species is the only one that makes up the genus Beluga. This dolphin is very familiar to humans, so we will introduce it to you.

What is a Beluga? Basic Status

Belugas are marine mammals classified as part of the Mammalia class, Artiodactyla order, Family Narwhalidae, Genus Beluga. They are very large dolphins, with a body length of 3-5m and a weight of 0.5-1.5t. Their scientific name is Delphinapterus leucas, and their English name is Beluga. The kanji for Beluga is “White Sea Pig”. The list of information is as follows.

White whale
scientific name(学名)Delphinapterus leucas
classification(分類)Mammalia、Artiodactyla/Cetartiodactyla、 Monodontidae、Delphinapterus


Beluga whales can be seen widely in the Arctic Ocean. They are found in Hudson Bay, Greenland, the north coast of Iceland, and the north coast of Norway.

What are its characteristics? What kind of creature is it?

Beluga whales are large dolphins that come from the Arctic Ocean. They are pure white and have no dorsal fin. They have a fatty tissue called melon in the front of their heads. They use the melon to communicate with each other and for echolocation, generating sound waves by vibrating the back of their nasal cavity. Unlike other toothed whales, melons can change their shape at will. Their heads are small and their pectoral fins curl upward as they age. They are called the “canaries of the sea” because their cries sound like small birds.

What is their personality like?

Beluga whales are very social animals that value discipline. They are usually seen in groups. However, they often act alone. They are curious but also fearful, so they behave favorably towards humans.

What is their ecology like?

Beluga whales live by eating fish, crustaceans, invertebrates, etc. Mating occurs from February to May and the gestation period is about 14 months. They can give birth to one baby at a time and can live for 30-40 years in the wild. Males reach sexual maturity at 8 years old and females at 5 years old. There is a 2-year gap between births.

Do they have any natural enemies?

The biggest threat to beluga whales is the killer whale. When they are in danger, they use their melons to warn their companions of the danger.

Are beluga whales an endangered species?

Beluga whales are not endangered when viewed as a whole. However, the population in Cook Inlet has drastically decreased due to whaling. More than 2,000 whales are hunted annually throughout the Arctic, which is a very critical situation. There are also concerns about a decrease in the population due to changes in water temperature. In 1979, they were listed as an endangered species in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Environmental destruction caused by the installation of pipelines and the construction of dams for hydroelectric power generation has become a problem.

Can beluga whales be kept as pets?

Beluga whales are an endangered species and cannot be kept by the general public. If you are looking for them, we recommend visiting an aquarium or other place to view them and getting guided or guided at events. The performances of beluga dolphin shows and play are popular. You can also purchase illustrations, photos, and goods such as stuffed animals at the store. They are noteworthy for their diverse expressions and large size. You can also observe bubble rings, where beluga whales blow ring-shaped bubbles.


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