Thursday, June 25, 2015

BELUGA WHALE: Friends You Can Trust

Known as “Ghost Whale”, Beluga is the only whale that is all white. Because of her pale color, Russians named Her, Belulcha, which means “white one”. Like Manatee, Beluga was once thought to be a mermaid. Today, She is a major character in children’s stories.

Like her Mother, Beluga returns to the same river estuary every year. Her Mother first took Her to their “home” when She was a Calf. However, when the ice freezes over her estuary, Beluga will leave her home for warmer coastal waters. But come the springtime, She returns with her Calf to feed in the nourishing Polar waters of their estuary.

Unlike other Whales, Beluga has a flexible neck, and can move her head from side to side. Because of her unique ability, She does a visual sweep of the ocean floor while swimming. Her famed flexibility extends to other parts of her body as well. Beluga’s bendable flippers help Her get out of tight squeezes. Her moveable face makes Her one of the most expressive whales. In fact, She often forms her mouth into an “O”. When She is unhappy, Beluga will squirt the offender with streams of water from her puckered mouth.

Since She travels in pods of a hundred or more Whales, having a social life is important to Beluga. Called “Sea Canary”, She chirps, peeps, and squeaks to her Pod Mates. In her Pod, Beluga talks with Them all, using trills, chirps, and clucks. Sometimes, She sounds like a rusty gate or an out-of-tune string band, conversing with other Belugas.

Life in Beluga’s Pod is loud and noisy. The only time, She and her Friends are silent is when Orca (Killer Whale) is near. Then silence rules the ocean waters. Beluga shows that, with friends you can trust, you will always know when danger is near.

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