Adventist Adventurer Awards/Whales

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Pick one whale to study.[edit | edit source]

Belugas are extremely sociable mammals that live, hunt and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. Their bulbous forehead, called a "melon”, is flexible and capable of changing shape. This allows them to make different facial expressions. Belugas can produce a series of chirps, clicks, whistles and squeals, which give the beluga its other name, "the canary of the sea." They may sound like music or even nonsense to us, but to fellow belugas they convey important information.

Many populations of belugas migrate as the sea ice changes in the Arctic. They move south in the fall as the ice forms and then return to feed again in the spring, as the ice breaks up. They can also be found near river mouths, and sometimes even venture up river. Belugas feed on a variety of fish species, such as salmon and herring, as well as shrimp, crabs and mollusks.

  • POPULATION over 150,000
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME Delphinapterus leucas
  • WEIGHT 1500-3500 pounds (up to 1.5 tons)
  • LENGTH 8.5 to 22 feet
  • HABITATS Oceans

Is a whale a mammal or a fish?[edit | edit source]

Whales and porpoises are also mammals. There are 75 species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises living in the ocean. They are the only mammals, other than manatees, that spend their entire lives in the water.

What is the size of the whale when full grown?[edit | edit source]

But how big is a full grown whale? On average, it grows to be about 59 feet long (18 meters). However, the largest known Right Whales grew to be 65 feet (19.8 meters). Being solidly built, Right Whales are significantly heavier than other whales, weighing around 100 tons.

Belugas are about 5 feet long at birth and weigh 90–130 pounds. Adults grow to be 11–15 feet long. Females are smaller than males, rarely growing over 12 feet. Reports of adult beluga weights vary from 1000–3300 pounds.

Draw full size whale in a parking lot with sidewalk chalk?[edit | edit source]

Learn five facts about your whale, such as suggested below?[edit | edit source]

What it eats[edit | edit source]

Whale love to eat krill, fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and algae. Some, such as the right whale, are called “skimmers”. These whales swim slowly with their huge mouths open to take in large amounts of water and food.

Beluga whales have a varied diet consisting of octopus, squid, crabs, shrimp, clams, snails, and sandworms. They also eat a variety of fish, including salmon, eulachon, cod, herring, smelt, and flatfish.

Where it lives or migrates[edit | edit source]

Where do whales live? Whales inhabit all oceans of the world, from temperate oceans and the tropical waters around the equator to the polar waters of the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. Whales are also found in many seas, such as the North Sea and the Mediterranean.

Where do belugas live? Most populations of beluga migrate. In autumn, they move south as the ice forms in the Arctic. In spring, they return to their northern feeding areas when the ice breaks up In summer, they are often found near river mouths, and sometimes even venture up river.

How it interacts with other whales[edit | edit source]

Besides vocalizations, belugas may communicate through facial expressions and physical contact. Visual behaviors such as breaches, pectoral slaps (slapping a pectoral flipper on the water's surface), and lobtails (slapping flukes on the water's surface) are not as common in belugas as in some other whale species.

How long it lives[edit | edit source]

35 to 50 years

How many babies it has and how are they born.[edit | edit source]

A female may give birth to a single calf every two to three years. Twins are rare. Calves are born in bays and estuaries, where the water is relatively warm: about 10° to 15° C (50° to 60° F). Deliveries can either be tail first or head first.

Listen to whale sounds[edit | edit source]

In damp sand or clay sculpt your whale.[edit | edit source]

Read or listen to the story of Jonah and act out the story[edit | edit source]

External Resources[edit | edit source]