Beluga Whale 14078 WEB2Credit: Andy Murch

8 Things You Didn't Know About Belugas


The white whale fact sheet

(Delphinapterus leucas)


1  Calves are born gray or even brown and only fade to white as they become sexually mature around five years of age

2  The beluga's body size is between that of a dolphin's and a true whale’s, with males growing up to 5.5m (18ft) long and weighing up to 1,600kg (3,500lb). They have a stocky body and a visible neck and can move their heads from side to side and have the ability to look behind

3  They don't have dorsal fins - just a small dorsal ridge

4  Their sense of hearing is highly developed and they possess echolocation, which allows them to move about and find blowholes under sheet ice

5  Belugas are gregarious and they form groups of up to 10 animals on average, although during the summer months, they can gather in the hundreds or even thousands in estuaries and shallow coastal areas

6  They are slow swimmers, but can dive down to 700m (2,300 ft) below the surface

7  They are opportunistic feeders and their diets vary according to their locations and the season. They mainly eat fish, crustaceans and other deep-sea invertebrates

8  Belugas use sound to find their prey.  They also use sound to communicate and navigate by producing a variety of clicks, chirps and whistles and are known as the 'canaries of the sea'


Don't miss Andy Murch's trip report in diving with beluga whales in our FREE November 2014 issue!



Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...