These stout and small all-white whales, named “the white ones” by Russian sailors, have a chirping, bird-like song.
Unlike the Baleen whales, Belugas have beaks and teeth. Their sharp teeth are not used for chewing but for snatching. They eat their food whole. They aren’t picky eaters, feeding off the bottom of the ocean and in shallow waters. This flexibility provides them with a rich diet of fish, squid, octopus and crustaceans. An adult beluga will consume almost 3% of its body weight, or 50 pounds of food, per day.
Belugas are extremely social animals, traveling in groups, known as pods, of up to 25 or more, and hunting cooperatively. During migrations, pods often join together, forming massive Beluga crowds of up to 10,000.
While not the fastest whales around, preferring to cruise at about five to six miles an hour, they can swim up to 22 mph when they needed. What they lack in speed is made up for in their ability to dive deep. They are known to have reached extreme depths of up to 2,100 feet.
Listen to the sounds of Beluga whales: