[88] There is a slight difference on the sexual maturation period between males and females. Copulation typically takes place between 3 and 4 AM. [57][44] Many hundreds and even thousands of individuals can be present when the pods join together in river estuaries during the summer. [223] One captive beluga, after overhearing divers using an underwater communication system, caused one of the divers to surface by imitating their order to get out of the water. 9. Overall the beluga population is estimated to be between 150,000-200,000 animals. The closest species family member to the Beluga Whale is the narwhal. Belugas are gregarious and form groups of 10 animals on average, although during the summer, they can gather in the hundreds or even thousands in estuaries and shallow coastal areas. The album starts with the sound of whales communicating, and includes songs representing the ocean and whales playing. [200][153] As of January 2018, according to the nonprofit Ceta Base, which tracks belugas and dolphins under human care, there were 81 captive belugas in Canada and the United States, and unknown numbers in the rest of the world. Mitochondrial DNA studies have shown modern cetaceans last shared a common ancestor between 25 and 34 million years ago[11][12] The superfamily Delphinoidea (which contains monodontids, dolphins and porpoises) split from other toothed whales, odontoceti, between 11 and 15 million years ago. [153] Canada has now banned the practice of holding new animals in captivity. [234] Loss of sea ice and a change in ocean temperatures may also affect the distribution and composition of prey or affect their competition. [6] Calves often return to the same estuary as their mother in the summer, meeting her sometimes even after becoming fully mature. See why nearly a quarter of a million subscribers begin their day with the Starting 5. For example, residents in Kotzebue, have reported that killer whales have been sighted more frequently in Kotzebue Sound. Blood,[244] urine,[245] and blow samples[246] have all been collected for longitudinal hormone monitoring studies. [242] Through fetal health and gestation monitoring, facilities can be more equipped to deal with pregnant animals as well. Hauser, D. D., Laidre, K. L., Stafford, K. M., Stern, H. L., Suydam, R. S., & Richard, P. R. (2017). [236] The act also states that all whales in US territorial waters are under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of NOAA.[236]. 8. This was a free diving competition to see who could stay on the bottom of this tank the longest in very cold temperatures, and the diver's legs were 'paralyzed' by severe cramps because of the temperatures. The average annual landed harvest of belugas in the Beaufort Sea consisted of 39 individuals while the Chukchi harvest averaged 62 individuals. [196] Merlin was owned until 2015 by Blackstone Group, which also owned SeaWorld[198] until selling its last stake in 2017 to a Chinese company which will use SeaWorld's expertise to expand in China;[199] SeaWorld still keeps belugas in captivity. It was originally called the Super Transporter, but the nickname Beluga became more popular and was then officially adopted. A Japanese researcher says he taught a beluga to "talk" by using these sounds to identify three different objects, offering hope that humans may one day be able to communicate effectively with sea mammals. The beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is a small, toothed whale that is white as an adult. In addition, the noise produced by the motors has an adverse effect on their auditory function and reduces their ability to detect their prey, communicate and navigate. [55] After this, they start to supplement their diets with shrimp and small fish. The population has remained relatively consistent, though the reported harvest has been small. [253] Similar Images . (2014). They are slow swimmers, but can dive to 700 m (2,300 ft) below the surface. [154] The Quebec Department of Fisheries launched a study into the influence of these cetaceans on local fish populations in 1938. The whales in question are undoubtedly belugas, who still inhabit the White Sea in northern Karelia.