KidZone home page
DLTK's Crafts for Kids

KidZone Animals
Whales: Beluga Whales

© written by Tasha Guenther

Beluga whale swimming

"Beluga oceangrafic"; used with permission under CC BY-SA 2.0

Beluga whales or Delphinapterus leucas are part of the family Monodontidae. The only other whale that is a part of this family is the Narwhal. They exist within the subspecies Odontoceti (toothed whales). Thus, the Beluga whale is a medium-sized, toothed whale, that most commonly is found in the arctic North.

The name "Beluga" comes from the Russian word "belukha," which means "white." This is why the Beluga whale is often called the White whale.

The Beluga whale has paddle-shaped flippers and a broad tail fluke - this allows the Beluga swiftness and flexibility in the water. Of course, this seems strange since the Beluga is a round, stout whale without a dorsal fin. However, the Beluga whale is an agile swimmer with a flexible neck and a forhead bulge (called a "melon").

Beluga whales can grow up to 5 meters – males larger than females – and can weigh 3,300 pounds! Regardless of size, Beluga whales always look like the happiest animal in the kingdom, and are (arguably) the cutest whale!