Belukha is an oceanic mammal that belongs to a detachment of whaling and belongs to the family “Narwal“. Belukha according to her external data, sometimes called “White dolphin”. But in the biological classification of Belukha, it is attributed to whales. This white toothy whale is the only and unique look in nature. Belukha lives in the ocean far from the coast, where there are a lot of fish necessary for her to eat.
Description of the appearance
Beluha large marine animal. Males in size are slightly larger than females. They have a body length of 6 meters and a mass of about 2000 kilograms, and the female body has 5 meters, the mass reaches 1,500 kilograms.
Coloring in adults white white. For this reason, they gave such a name. When appearing on white light, the cubs have a dark blue color, which as it grows becomes paler, turning into blue. When Belukha reaches the age of 5 years, it becomes absolutely white.
A characteristic feature of the beluga is the head, which has small size and bulge of the forehead. Belukha does not have a beak. She has interesting abilities:
- the ability to rotate with your head;
- raise it;
- let down;
- 90 degrees.
This is due to the good motor capacity of the vertebrae of the neck, which are separated by cartilage.
Belukha can change the expression on the face, it reflects a joyful or sad mood, contempt or indifference. This ability is due to welldeveloped muscles on the front part.
One of the features of the beluga is the absence of a spinal fin. She has only wide breast fins that have small sizes compared to the body. The tail is quite wide and powerful, its scope can be more than one meter.
The body of a white whale is adapted to life in polar conditions. He has a very thick layer of subcutaneous fat, which is almost 50% of the mass of the entire animal. Fat protects the animal from the cold.
Belukha’s skin has a compacted surface layer that helps protect it from wounds during swimming among ice blocks.
Belukha has a wonderful hearing and is capable of echoolocation. The jaw extended contains from 30 to 40 teeth in the form of wedges, which are braked forward. White whales have excellent vision. They see well both in the air and in the aquatic environment.
Where it lives
The habitat of various population populations is Arctic water spaces:
- Okhotsk Sea;
- White Sea;
- Kara Sea;
- Zamylov St. Lavrenty, Ungava, Gudzonova;
- Northern Arctic Ocean.
Belukha mainly swims to the coastal regions of the seas, but also plunges to a depth for finding food. When the northern waters are covered with ice, white whales, gathered in flocks, migrate to the southern regions.
In the summer, white whales form accumulations in river mouths. For them at this time, the most acceptable are temperatures about 7-10 degrees.
Belukha’s nutrition is a variety. In her diet, about a hundred species of marine animals. She eats:
- shallow fish (smelly, meaw, cod, etc.);
During the day, Belukha eats 19-27 kg of food, which is approximately three percent of the total weight of her body. Belukha hunts in shallow water. She picks up water, then pushes it out of the mouth, directing it to the bottom. The sand rises with food, and Belukha swallows everything edible.
For fish production, whales gather in a group, drive fish jambs aground and swallow them. They are not able to chew, with their teeth they can only hold the prey or pinch off the pieces.
Characterization of lifestyle
White whales live in water open spaces, gathering in a pack. The number of animals in a pack from 10 to 15. In flocks, males and females with cubs gather separately. Belukhi move at speeds of 11-12 km/h, if they feel danger, then they accelerate up to a maximum of 25 km/h.
Belukha is able to plunge into water by about 300 meters in depth. She needs to swallow a portion of air, for this she emerges from the water, every five minutes. The maximum time of its stay under water is about 20 minutes. Therefore, in winter, Belukha is forced to migrate from the glaciation zone.
In winter, white whales try to swim next to the edge of the ice. They need to be in wormwood to swallow a portion of air and sometimes have to punch their ice with their backs. There are times when the ice becomes too thick, they cannot break through it and die.
During ice covering large territories, animals migrate to the southern regions. They are usually attached to a certain place and stop at it annually.
Belukhi are very sociable. Communication among themselves occurs with the help of high frequency sounds and also through echolocation. The sounds made by them are similar to a bird scream, beluga:
Belukha can make up to 50 sounds and radiate ultrasound signals. They are published in the head of a system of bags with air. Ultrasound radiation focus is carried out by a special fat layer in the forehead. This is such an acoustic lens that reflects ultrasounds from various objects. The lower jaw receives signals and transfers them to the hearing organ of the animal. This allows Belukha to navigate well in the surrounding world.
Communicating with each other, white whales swim near their relatives, give signals to the body movements, a dentist, so they manage to attract attention. They constantly communicate with the cubs, guard them and show care. To protect the kids, they for about a month and a half, stop at the mouth of a large river. During this time, they have a molt, and they raise offspring.
Propagation of individuals
Mating proceeds for four months (from February to May). Beluha males flirting with females, emerge around them and attracted by whistling or clicking sounds. Between the males there is a rivalry. The male, using different movements and sounds, blocks the path of the opponent to Belukha Samka, showing his advantage. But the female chooses a partner for himself. During the period of mating, Beluh is up to games, contacts of the trunk, synchronous movements.
The female hatches the cub 13-14 months. Newborn babies have a weight of 65-80 kg, and the length of the body is about 1.5 meters. The female feeds the whale for two years. Females raise babies to the surface for swallowing air. The cubs are under constant care. After their teeth appear, they begin to eat small fish and shrimp.
In white whales, sexual maturity of females occurs at the age of 5-7 years, and males ripen by 8-9 years. Reproductive abilities are preserved for 22-25 years. Males live an average of 41-42 years, and females-32-33 years old.
Enemies await Beluha constantly. Her enemies are predators who live on the shores and in sea waters. Belukha needs to beware:
- Greenland sharks;
- White bears.
They are the main enemies.
During migration, the killer whale floats behind the herd, accompanies them on the way, attacks them and eats them. Whales maneuveume among ice and often leave the pursuing predator-toe.
Greenland sharks also hunt for belugas. But Beluguha has the ability to collectively defend themselves from their enemies. White bears are waiting for belly on ice and icebergs. They can hit the animal on the head or drag it using claws and teeth. Иногда белухи становятся добычей не только хищников, но и людей.
To date, a world’s population has from 160 to 180 thousand individuals. A total of the Belukha range was noted in the amount of thirty places. There are twelve in our country. About 50% Beluh lives in the area of the coast of Eurasia.
In the Canadian region there are 70,000-90,000 individuals. Belukha Gudzonov Bay, most resistant to negative environmental factors.
Representatives of countries such as Canada, Denmark, Russia, Norway, Great Britain are counting migrating populations. The number of animals from the beginning of migration to the final point shows a large loss associated with the destruction of predators and human activity.
Dolphinaries, oceanariums, zoos contain a sufficient number of white whales. More than a hundred live in Eurasia and within 250 in the countries of the world.
Belukha belongs to the species that threatens the disappearance. The destruction of this species is helped by whaling, changing the density of Arctic ice, pollution of ocean and sea waters.
The indigenous peoples hunt white whales, which leads to a reduction in their number. During the year, up to three thousand animals are destroyed.
The International Union of Nature Protection has determined a decrease in the number of white toothy whales in many habitats. It was decided to bring this type in the lists of the Red Book.
The Congress of the United States of America has adopted a law that prohibits hunting for all types of mammals living near the coastal waters of the country.
In the modern world, the main threat of disappearance of Beluh is not approaching the side of intensive fishing, but as a result of the industrial development of the Arctic and pollution of the waters of the seas and oceans by poisonous substances, waste of industrial production. Belukh population reduction is due to environmental problems in the environment.
Belukhi living in the River SV. Lavrentia, absorb a lot of toxins. The consequence is mutational processes: cubs were born with a curved body shape and poorly developed spine.
- Belukha, albeit a very massive animal, but very dexterous: it swims perfectly on her back and tail forward. During the pursuit of the jamb, fish, getting aground, when tide, she is waiting for a tide, removes from the shallows and easily returns to sea waters.
- Belukhi are the only representatives of the type of whaling, who can express their facial expressions, to express an emotional state.
- The subcutaneous fat of white whales are used in medicine for the manufacture of ointments, as well as for the production of lubricants, soap and margarine. From the skins of these animals, raw materials are made to make drive belts, shoe sole.
- One of the interesting phenomena is the release of air bubbles. More playful females create bubbles, both small and large rings through which they swim. If the Belukhi felt some danger, then they emit numerous bubbles. Scientists have not yet been able to explain the reason for the release of a stable flow of bubbles during the joint movement of males.
- In San Diego there is a National Foundation of Marine Mammals, where Belukha lived, having a nickname Knock. It was in 1984. Researchers began to distinguish between words from people’s speech in the area where white whales and dolphins lived. It turned out that the NOC remembered and uttered a few words in English. These sounds were recorded on the recorder. During the analysis of this unusual phenomenon, it turned out that the NOC to create sounds with the help of muscles changed air pressure in the nasal passes, made manipulations in the lips and puffed out bubbles. Belukha turned out to be a great imitator.
- Belukha is the only representative of whales that lends itself to training. It can be seen on circus performances and dolphinaries. Scientists studying the oceanic bottom taught Belukha to find different objects at the bottom, deliver equipment to divers and even shoot under water.
- In the Chinese city of Harbin, an amazing event took place in the aquarium of the entertainment park, in 2009. Kitte Beluha saved a girl whose legs were convulsed when diving. Divers was organized by a tournament associated with immersion in the water of the aquarium without an aqualanga. The following happened: a twentysixyearold girl quickly rushed to the bottom. Belukha Mila quickly orientated herself, grabbed the girl and carried her upstairs.