What do beluga whales look like?
Born dark grey, with a bluish or brownish tinge that gets lighter with age, belugas turn pure white between 5 to 12 years of age. Beluga whales are unlike any other whale, dolphin or porpoise. A yellowish tinge can sometimes be seen on adult belugas, caused by a layer of algae growing on their skin. This yellowy hue is soon lost during summer moulting though – a rather unusual event for cetaceans – restoring them to their pearly glow. Given their choice of habitat, a beluga’s body needs to be robust and is wrapped in a thick layer of blubber. This often forms thick rubbery folds along the sides and belly, keeping them nice and warm. (3)