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Arctic Wildlife

 

Beluga Whale Watching

The Issatik Hotel

The Issaktik Hotel

in Whale Cove

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Beluga Whale Watching in Whale Cove

The beluga is one of the three varieties of whale that spends all its life in arctic waters. The other two are the bowhead and the narwhal. Beluga are special among whales because they can turn their heads. Beluga whales are dark blue-gray in color at birth. The color gradually lightens, and they are usually white by age 5 or 6.

Belugas are very social and make a wide variety of sounds. They have been nick-named "sea canaries." Belugas use sound to help them find their prey. They send out a sound which bounces off things in the water and allows them to hear how far away something is. This is called echolocation. Belugas use echolocation to:

  • locate their bottom-dwelling prey
  • find breathing holes in the Arctic ice sheet
  • navigate in deep, dark waters

Their songs are also used to communicate. Belugas produce many different sounds, ranging from clicks, squeals, whistles, etc. The fatty melon on the head of the beluga changes shape as the beluga makes sounds.

Beluga whales are very social animals and congregate in pods of 2-25 whales, with an average pod size of 10 whales. A pod will hunt and migrate as a group. During migrations, several pods may join together, forming groups of 200-10,000 belugas.

 

 

Beluga
Beluga whale

Beluga Whale With Calf
Beluga whale tail fin

Pod of Beluga Whales
Pair of Beluga whales

 

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