Mammal Species of the World's Boreal Forests


Delphinapterus leuca

The Beluga is also known as the "White Whale". Beluga means "white one" in Russian.


Distinguishing Features - Length: 4.6 m average; weight: 1500 kg. average. A small, toothed whale. Overall colouration: white in adults. Body: stout. Head: small, blunt with a small beak. Eyes, tiny. They are covered with thick layers of blubber; they have one blowhole. Males are slightly larger than females.

Beluga Habitat

Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, but some populations migrate south to warmer water in the summer. Beluga's Arctic habitat overlaps with the Narwhal's habitat. Belugas also travel up northern rivers into partly salty water and estuaries to hunt prey during the summer.


Primarily fish, squid, crustaceans and octopus.


Calves are not white like the adults; they are blue to brownish-red for in their first year; in the second year they are gray to blue and by the 6th year, they are white.

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