5 Facts of Beluga, White Whales that are Intelligent and Friendly to Humans

A few days ago, a viral video of a beluga whale picked up a cellphone that fell into the water to its owner. Beluga is praised as an intelligent, kind and friendly animal. Apparently, there are many interesting facts about Beluga that you don’t know yet. What is it? Check this out!

1. Dubbed as ‘melon head’

Do you know why beluga whales are called melon heads? This is because the circle on his forehead! This circle is a fatty organ that helps the process of echolocation, the process by which animals use echoes as a call to find and identify objects, bright the Mental Floss page.

The way it works is to reflect sound waves into the water. These waves will later bounce and return to beluga in the form of an echo, said the Sea World page. This wave has fantastic speed, which is around 1.6 km per second! With this echolocation system beluga can determine the size, shape, speed and distance of objects in water. This is what helps them navigate and communicate.

2. Their other nickname is ‘sea walnut’. Why is that about?

Not only known as melonheads, beluga is also known as the sea canary, aka sea walnuts. This is because beluga has a rich and varied vocal range. It is known, there are at least 11 different beluga sounds.

The sounds are used to echolocate when navigating the waters and as a form of communication between beluga. These 11 types of sounds are used in different conditions, because it is very vocal the nickname of the sea canary is attached to them.

3. Beluga also communicates with bubbles?

Does the beluga communication method only stop at echolocation and speak with 11 types of vocals? Certainly not. Beluga is known to be an expert in making bubbles in water. This behavior is not only interpreted as a way to play around, but also signifies social ties between belugas, explained the Mental Floss page.

A study was conducted on 44 beluga whales. The result is that the released rings and bubbles are slowly believed to be a sign to play, while there are other types of bubbles that have a function to communicate. In fact, if the bubble is made suddenly it is a sign that the beluga is defensive and protects itself.

4. The color of their body serves to disguise themselves around

The word beluga comes from the Russian term ‘bielo’ which means white. Indeed, beluga has a predominantly white color and is characteristic of other whales. However, this color has an important function, which is to blend in with the surrounding environment.

When the beluga swims in the polar ice sheet, the color acts as a form of camouflage. This is what makes them avoid predators, such as polar bears or orca whales. FYI, at birth, beluga babies are not white, but gray, you know!

5. Beluga can swim upside down, you know!

One more proof that beluga is a playful animal: they can swim upside down! Even so, beluga is also known as an animal that is slow to swim. They usually swim at speeds of 3-9 km per hour. Beluga has a maximum swimming speed of up to 22 km per hour, which can last up to 15 minutes.

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