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To understand beluga whales, numerous research initiatives have been supported or undertaken by Georgia Aquarium. Learn more about how Georgia Aquarium is making a difference around the world.
Visit the chilly unknown at the Georgia Aquarium to watch the magnificent beluga whales swim carefree around in the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery.
The beautiful white beluga whale is found in the arctic and sub-arctic regions of the world including Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and several northern European countries. These "canaries of the sea" are highly vocal, and at the Georgia Aquarium, if you listen closely you'll hear the high-pitched songs of the beluga whales. These animals are very sociable and are often observed swimming up to the glass to check out the guests face to face.
The beluga whale is an opportunistic feeder. It is known to prey on about 100 different kinds of primarily bottom-dwelling animals. It will also suction prey animals off the bottom with its thick lips. The beluga whale consumes octopus, squid, crabs, shrimp, clams, snails, sandworms and various fish, such as capelin, cod, herring, smelt and flounder.
Yes. The beluga whale is the most vocal of the toothed whales. At least 11 different vocals have been documented, including high-pitched whistles, squeals, clucks, mews, chirps, trills, and bell-like tones. Arctic fishermen say they can hear the beluga whale sounds coming from miles away and that they can feel the vibration of their sounds coming through the hulls of their fishing boats. This behavior has earned this whale the nickname “canary of the sea.”
There is an estimated North American population of 150,000 to 200,000 belugas. They are not considered endangered overall. However, there are some populations which are threatened by pollution.