Beluga Whale

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The beluga whale is the only entirely white whale species and derives its name from the Russian word for “white,” “belukha”.

The beluga whale is the only species of whale that is entirely white, although it is born gray and fades gradually with age.

The beluga also gets its name from its white coloring. The species name comes from the Greek word for “white,” leukos, referring to the color of the adult beluga. Similarly, the common name, “beluga,” comes from the Russian word for “white,” “belukha.” The name has led to some confusion with the beluga sturgeon, a white sturgeon freshwater fish from which beluga caviar is derived.

The beluga whale has also become known by the nickname “white whale,” referring to its milky white skin.

Sources: (AMMPA, 2014, 2017; Leatherwood, Reeves, Perrin, & Evans, 1982; Paine, 1995; Williams, 2002)
Image: Selbe Lynn

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