Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Monodontidae > Delphinapterus > Delphinapterus leucas

Delphinapterus leucas (Beluga; white whale)

Synonyms: Beluga catodon; Delphinapterus beluga; Delphinapterus catodon; Delphinapterus leucas marisalbi
Language: French

Wikipedia Abstract

The beluga whale or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean. It is one of two members of the family Monodontidae, along with the narwhal, and the only member of the genus Delphinapterus. This marine mammal is commonly referred to as the beluga, melonhead, or sea canary due to its high-pitched twitter. Belugas are one of the most commonly kept cetaceans in captivity and are housed in aquariums, dolphinariums, and wildlife parks in North America, Europe, and Asia. They are popular with the public due to their colour and expression.
View Wikipedia Record: Delphinapterus leucas

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 21.32
EDGE Score: 3.8


Gestation [2]  1 year 1 month
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  0.3
Maximum Longevity [2]  40 years
Water Biome [1]  Pelagic, Benthic, Coastal, Brackish Water
Weaning [2]  1 year 10 months
Adult Weight [2]  1.576 tons (1,430.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  145.506 lbs (66.00 kg)
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [3]  60 %
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  40 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [2]  4 years 6 months
Male Maturity [2]  6 years 3 months

Protected Areas

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Homo sapiens (man)[4]
Odobenus rosmarus (Walrus)[6]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[6]
Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear)[8]


Parasite of 
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[4]


Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Range Map


East Pacific; Eastern Atlantic Ocean; Europe & Northern Asia (excluding China); Indo-West Pacific; North America; Western Atlantic Ocean;

External References


Play / PauseVolume



Vancouver Aquarium Beluga Cam
Cam Time:
Hours: - ( - )


Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
6Delphinapterus leucas, Barbara E. Stewart and Robert E. A. Stewart, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 336, pp. 1-8 (1989)
7The role of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the foodweb of the Barents Sea, A. V. Dolgov, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59: 1034–1045. 2002
8Diet composition of polar bears in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea, Andrew E. Derocher, Øystein Wiig, Magnus Andersen, Polar Biol (2002) 25: 448–452
9Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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