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Belugaaaaahhhh !!!

Belugaaaaahhhh !!!
Photo Information
Copyright: Stephan Duchesne (iglootrek) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 10 N: 460] (1623)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-06-27
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel, CMOS ISO 100
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Beluga Whales [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-11-22 20:03
Viewed: 5212
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas)

The term "beluga" stems from the Russian word belukha which means "white one". The beluga whale is known by the scientific name of Delphinapterus ("whale without fins") leucas ("white"). It is also referred to as "white whale", "white porpoise" and "white squidhound" because of its color, and "sea canary", because of its lively chatter.

Beluga whales are most commonly found in coastal waters of circumpolar, primarily arctic regions of the northern hemisphere. Some isolated populations however, extend into subarctic regions as far south as the St. Lawrence River of Canada.

Since belugas are extremely difficult to monitor, population sizes are known from only certain localities. Based on this information, it seems likely that the present total population is between 40,000 and 55,000 animals. The population in the St. Lawrence River has now declined to less than 500 whales. (I had the chance to see some near Tadoussac in the St-Lawrence river 10 years ago)

Belugas are adapted to cold and ice and frequently inhabit areas where pack ice is common, although they are limited seasonally to areas where they can maintain breathing holes.

Of all toothed whales, belugas are clearly the most adapted to brackish, estuarine waters and travel up river mouths, often with the tide, for limited distances in search of food.

Beluga whales have stout bodies, well defined necks and a disproportionately small head with a well defined beak and a prominent bulge or "melon". They have short but broad paddle shaped flippers, no dorsal fin, a narrow ridged back and a broad tail fluke with a deeply notched center.

Adult beluga whales grow to lengths of 10-16 feet (3-5 m), and can weigh up to 3300 lbs (1500 kg). Males grow slightly larger than females.

Color varies with age. Calves are a reddish-brown at birth and remain so throughout the first year; during the second year this color slowly transforms to a marbled blue gray. In the following 3 years the color slowly fades as pigment is lost from the skin. By 6 years of age, belugas have attained their characteristic creamy white adult color.

Belugas are thought to live to 35-50 years of age.

Beluga whales can remain submerged for 15-20 minutes and may travel up to 2-3 km on one dive. This allows them to pursue their primary diet of small fish such as capulin, char, sand lance and cod.

Source: http://www.uvm.edu/whale/BelugaWhales.html

This picture was taken at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre last year. Beluga whales are just hard to take in picture properly because they are really white, especially during a sunny day...


glazzaro, cedryk, Janice, archanabhimasen, petrudamsa, liquidsunshine, wallhalla15, hummingbird24, sAner, zenitlady, marhowie, ldsouza, elizabeth has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Well done, love the profile, nice job on the exposure too.


  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2005-11-22 21:11]

Great shot of beluga, Stephan. never seen such a beautiful and close portrait of that animal. Great exposure and colours as well.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-11-22 22:44]

Stephan, excellent shot - the whites have come out soooo good. I love the look of these wonderful mammals, and just look at it's teeth! Excellent shot, thank you.

Neat Shot!!

Hi Stephan,
Great shot here. A very tough exposure with high contrast, that you nailed perfectly. A excellent POV and pose you have here. This one rocks!


Hello Stephan,
very good moment you captured! Nice composition! Very well done! Thanks for sharing.

Hello Stephan,

Beautiful capture of this amazing creature!

Excellent composition with perfect details, colors, lighting, and POV.

Great job!

Thank you.

Hi Stephan,
Excellent capture, good sharp detail and colours. Great pose and POV.
Nicely composed and good exposure.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • lukdm Silver Star Critiquer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 7] (165)
  • [2005-11-23 11:59]

great 'portrait' Stephan

I imagining the long spelled 'Belugaaaaahhhh !!!' is mimicking the old car horn sound. Anyway great close-up of this beautiful beluga whale they look so dumpy cute with their enlarged sonar melon shaped head. :)

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-11-23 13:58]

Excellent picture Stephan. I know these Beluga's are difficult to expose right as I have also been to the same aquarium in Vancouver. I didn't succeed, you did!! :) Sharp details aswell. Well done & TFS!


Hello Stephan! What wonderful shading of the whites in this photo! Great POV! Love the way the water is slopping over his/her eye. Great composition! You have made me smile as this beluga is smiling! Well done! Linda

Nice head shot of this Beluga Stephan. You've shown its "dentalwork" very well with very good detail and exposure. Well done!
Thank You.

Excellent shot!! Understand your trouble with the white colour of the whale on a sunny day ... thanks so much for sharing .. I have never seen these beauties before :)

this is an amazing picture!! i was wondering if you would mind if i used this picture in my biology paper at school? Im doing the beluga and i have to have pictures and i love this shot! I will cite it and make sure that you have all credit for the picture.

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