a lot of fascinating facts about belugas can cause you some serious amazement and some of the most amazing ones are listed below.
A Beluga in the Thames
Despite being an Arctic animal, one of the white whales made it to the River Thames in the United Kingdom in 2018. This sub-adult beluga attracted a lot of attention during its stay in the river, which lasted for a few months. Quite a lot of fans and representatives of animal welfare organizations gathered on the banks to have a look at this amazing creature. Belugas are equally comfortable in rivers as in the ocean and that’s the reason why this whale stayed in the Thames for so long.
In an attempt to unravel the most whimsical side of the white whales, a team of researchers observed 44 belugas for a period of 8 years. The variety of bubbles they make suggests communication and researchers believe that captivity can possibly change the conversation (bubbles). The findings of the team show that certain bubbles tend to reflect specific states of mind. For instance, blowing a huge bubble ring and then swimming through it is one of the most impressive displays that a beluga could perform. Similarly, these whales forcefully expel bubbles from their blowholes, when they feel threatened. However, the reasons for some of the bubbles are still not clear.
Belugas Experience Menopause
While the rest of the planet remains fertile for their entire lifespans, humans and some specific whales (orcas, short-finned pilot whales, narwhals, and belugas) experience menopause, which means that the fertility of women and these whales ceases decades before their death. Among humans, it has been observed that grandmothers are quite valuable in the later stages of their life rather than having their own infant but researchers haven’t been able to deduce anything the role of a grandmother among belugas, due to their extremely remote habitat.
The Honorary Beluga
In an attempt to get some useful information about the social behavior of belugas, a team of researchers visited the St. Lawrence River of Canada in 2018. What they found there was way beyond their expectations as a young narwhal male was found among a group of 50-60 white whales. Despite its dark gray body and a horn, the group seems to have adopted this foreigner and they also played games with him. This long-term bond came out as a massive surprise to the researchers because these two species hardly ever interact in the wild.
Conversation with Dolphins
In 2013, a beluga was added to a tank of dolphins in the Dolphinarium Koktebel in Crimea. If the white color of the whale was not enough to scare the dolphins, the difference in speaking abilities was surely frightening. However, things changed rather quickly as the beluga was accepted by the majority and learned the language of dolphins within two months. She also managed to use ‘signature whistles’, which represent an individual’s name among dolphins. This incident is a clear proof of the fact that belugas are powerful mimics who have a desire to fit in with other animals.
Get Out of the Tank
What will be your reaction if a beluga instructs you to get out of the water in human conversation? This actually happened at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in 1984 as a beluga, called Noc, picked up the words from staff conversations and warned the diver to get “out” of the tank. The analysis of the event revealed that the parts Noc used to communicate with the diver are not generally used by whales for conversing. This achievement completely justifies the title of the “canaries of the sea” that is often associated with belugas.
The Russian Agent
Recently, a lone beluga (wearing a harness) approached the coast of Norway. Some local fishermen located the white whale and found that it was really uncomfortable due to the harness. They fetched marine biologists who lured the white whale with some tasty snacks and removed the harness. The examination of the harness showed that it had a camera and the following words: “Equipment of St. Petersburg” engraved on it. Upon discussing the issue with Russian scientists, Norwegian researchers found that it could well be a military action from Putin’s regime.