When it comes to sea creatures, we can think of some real characters. Dolphins can be hilarious. Sea Otters can be quite mischievous. Sea Lions can be real pranksters. But there is almost no animal in the sea more inquisitive, more willing to accept human contact than a Beluga whale. They are smart. They are playful. They are curious about people. That curiosity and friendliness can make for some really interesting stories. It can also lead to tragedy. Read on for more…
Buff beluga whale flexes his muscles and shows off amazing ripped six-pack stomach before cuddling with admiring female friend
Belugas are reputedly known for their muscular bodies, and this guy really exemplifies that fact! Check out those abs. He could give a bodybuilder a run for his money. We know that swimming is great exercise, but man oh man! No wonder he has his pick of the group when it comes to female companionship.
Why Do Beluga Whales Blow Bubbles?
It has been known for a long time that Belugas engage in whimsical behavior, and bubble blowing is the best example. Researchers wanted to know why the whales did it, and spend 8 years trying to find out. Their conclusions: Belugas love to play. They make their own toys (bubble rings) and swim through them like hoops. Why do they play? To engage with the world and express their own personality. In essence, they are curious about the world and play helps them learn.
Researchers record Arctic Ocean belugas diving to depths of nearly 3,000 feet
Belugas aren’t all about play, though. When the need strikes, and when they are in serious hunt mode, the intelligent whales disregard the bubble blowing for more extreme ventures, like deep sea diving. They feed on salmon, crab, shrimp, squid, clams and small schooling fish such as herring, capelin, smelt and cod, and sometimes to get to their prey, Belugas descend to depths of 900 meters — or more than 2,950 feet.
Mackenzie Delta beluga research shows preference for less ice
Global warming might not be something you believe in, but Belugas do. And they seem to be benefitting from the loss of ice as a result. During the 2012 ice breakup, researchers counted 755 beluga whales. By contrast, 2013 had “heavy” ice conditions. Researchers counted 413 belugas but they mostly spotted the mammals in areas of open ice. In addition to a preference to open water, researchers found more belugas close to the ice edge rather than further offshore. Scientists are not sure what all of this means just yet, but it does point to a change in behavior due to habitat loss.
Why a Newfoundland village is afraid for this friendly beluga whale
Not all of these stories are happy. The fact is, with the curiosity of this special species, and the loss of habitat, and the abundance of boat traffic in the waterways, cases of Beluga deaths are on the rise. That scares the residents of Admiral’s Beach, Newfoundland. “Billy” the Beluga has been hanging around the village, making friends with the locals by coming right up to boats and letting the people rub his belly. While it’s endearing, the behavior is not natural, and residents are afraid their new friend will get hurt by a boat.