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White whale is a mammal and belongs to the family of the suborder of toothed whales dolphins. In other words – it is the polar dolphin as its habitat range spreads mainly on the seas of the Arctic Ocean. Do not hesitate to take this animal and mighty northern rivers flowing into a huge body of water. Ob, Yenisey, Lena – well known beluga. She swims in the mouth of these rivers for tens of kilometers upstream, but in any case prefers the seas, as they have much bigger fish, which it is in the ground and eats.
White whale – a large sea animal. The body length in males is 6 meters, weight in some individuals reach up to 2 tons. On average, the male weighs half a ton. Females are slightly smaller. Their length is not more than 5 meters, and the weight ranges from one and a half tons. body color of an adult polar white dolphin. Hence the name mammal. In the skin of a newborn cub dark blue or rather slate-blue. Over time, it fades and going gray, which gradually begins to give a gentle blue. The blue fades and at the age of 4-5 years, disappears. In place of it, and come white, continuing the animal until the end of life.
The head of the beluga relatively small body size. It has a distinctive frontal projection like all dolphins, but the beak inherent in these mammals do not. A notable feature of the animal is that it is able to rotate his head, turning it up, down and sideways. This is due to the mobility of the cervical vertebrae. They do not have it merged, as the other next of kin, and the layers are separated by cartilage.
In polar dolphin snout and well developed muscles. It can change the expression, showing the joy, the sorrow, the utter indifference or contempt. The pectoral fins are wide, but again small relative to the body. The tail is strong, but there is no dorsal fin. This is probably due to habitat characteristics, since such education on the back among the eternal ice can only interfere.
Beluga has a very strong, with excellent insulation, the skin. Its thickness reaches up to 2 cm. Thick layer of fat located under the skin. This layer reaches a thickness of 15 cm and reliably protects the internal organs from the polar cold. She swims at a speed of 10 km / h. In case of danger, fleeing from killer whales can reach speeds up to 25 km / h. Perfectly floats on his back, and even backwards. Maybe go down to a depth of 300 meters, as well as all the dolphins. No air is able to withstand 15 minutes. During the voyage comes up out of the water at intervals of 2 minutes for air.
Reproduction and life expectancy
Beluga mate and give birth in the coastal areas. Select with the place with more warm water. Among these, as a rule, are the areas, which are located near the mouths of rivers. Here, in spring and autumn, offspring appears. The cub is born one and reaches a length of 1.4-1.6 meters. Weight had thus reaches 70 kg. Mother brings up his milk and a half years. Pairing it again two weeks after the birth.
Males seeking attention ladies, arranging fights between them. Pregnancy lasts 14 months. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 to 7 years. Lose the ability to birth cubs primarily in 20 years. Males mature in 7-9 years. Belugas stop their growth at the age of 10-11 years. These mammals live 35-40 years. In captivity, polar dolphin can live up to 45 years.
Behavior and Nutrition
Live beluga prefer to pack. Flocks are composed of a plurality of groups. In one such little education combines several females with cubs to other adult males gather together. In the spring, these animals tend to the harsh northern shores. Here, in the narrow bays near the mouths of rivers, they spend all the warm season. During this period, a lot of shallow water fish. It feeds the polar dolphin Saiki, capelin, flounder. He loves saffron cod, cod. With pleasure eating herring and salmon, does not shrink from crustaceans and molluscs. It lacks extraction mouth and sucks it together with a water stream.
In the spring of these mammals occurs during moulting. The top layer of dead skin beluga skinned using small stones and pebbles. Animals rub them with their large bodies, and old skin slides into the water flaps intact. It is characteristic that the animals spend the summer months throughout life always in the same places. That is, after the winter migration, they always come back to where once they were born. In another way, they do not happen.
With the onset of cold weather the harsh Arctic beluga leave the coastal area and move to the edge of the vast ice fields. In the absence of sufficient feed mammals swim into the area of drifting ice. To exist, they can in these regions only intermittently poking snout of ice porridge.
Animals oblyubovyvayut extensive polynya, and near which a handful. Very often these holes is more ice. Sometimes they are located many kilometers from each other. If wormwood tightens crust of ice, then allowed her smash their large bodies. It happens that the ice floes shifted, crawl on each other because of the northerly winds and powerful currents. In this case, access to the air is blocked, and a whole flock of several hundred animals can die.
Enemies of the beluga has two. This polar bear and whale – the most powerful predators, one land, second sea. Polar Bear loves dolphins. He likes them thick fat layer. Clumsy is looking forward to the winter and is arranged near the extensive thaw in the ice. Once a polar dolphin pokes his head to breathe the air, a powerful claw falls on him.
Stun body bear pulls on the ice and eats. Killer whales also love to feast on these animals. They ruthlessly attack them in the water. Escape from a powerful predator of the selected victim is almost impossible. Orca swims twice as fast, and the poor mammal ends its life in its toothy jaws.