Beluga whale calves are able to swim alongside their mothers from birth but are totally dependent on them for the first year of life.
Beluga whale calves are very well developed and have a grayish coloration. They are precocious and are able to swim alongside their mothers from birth.
The mother provides protection and guidance for the offspring who is totally dependent on the mother for the first year of life. A female beluga can lactate for up to two years. Beluga calves are totally dependent on the mother’s milk for one year but will eat a combined diet of milk and shrimp into the second year.
Sources: (Bonner, 1989; Paine, 1995; Williams, 2002)