Beluga Whales – The Incredible Water Vocalists

Beluga whales, are white colored whales found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. This particular kind of whale is also known as the sea canary due to the high pitched noise that it produces.

Belugas are considered to be socializing whales who generally live in groups. Being social marine animals, they have a tendency of being playful and producing the noise while swimming with its fellow mates.

These whales are very curious about human beings and tend to not miss a chance of being around them. If they realize a boat approaching, they move closer to it and might playfully spit at the people around them.

This video is about how a man communicates with the friendly belugas. The man calls out the name “beluga” as if he was trying to sing. His singing, actually attracted the whales who gradually started coming near his boat. The whale was constantly swimming beside his boat, hearing him sing.

The man out of curiosity, finally thought of taking a dive into the water to get a closer view of the mammal. He wasn’t prepared for the little surprise that was waiting for him. He tried to sing in order to make the whales feel comfortable like before. However, to his utter surprise, the belugas actually reciprocated to him by singing back.

The man was amused by the chirping noise they created to sing back. It is probably the reason why they are regarded as sea canaries.

Belugas create these sounds not only to communicate but also get to know about their location and hunt in the deeper waters. These vocalizing mammals not only chirp, but also squeak and whistle at times. If a navigator is lucky enough, s/he may also hear the sound above water.

Amusingly, there are no vocal cords in the larynx of the animals. The high pitched sounds that they produce is a result of air passage between the nasal sacs. While making such noises, the melon of the whales tend to change in shape. It has been noticed that the variety of sounds produced may change according to situations. The quality and type varies from time to time.

The noise produced while socializing is not similar to the one produced while hunting. For a beluga, vocal communication is more important than any other form of communication, like facial or bodily movements. It might seem that they are trying to imitate the human noise that they hear around them, however, the sound continues to be distinctly different to that of human beings. They speak/communicate through their noses which helps them find their way.

There practically exists no other animal that can mimic human sounds as appropriately as belugas do. Not just communicating sounds, belugas are an expert in echolocation which they use to detect food and danger. Considering the dark icy depths they live in, it becomes very difficult for them to move in the right direction, avoiding possible dangers if they do not use their power of  producing nasal sounds or echolocation.

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