Are Beluga Whales Blind or Deaf?

No, beluga whales are neither blind nor deaf. Rather, they have excellent eyesight and hearing ability. Interestingly, their eyes can see underwater and, in the air, accurately. Their sound-sensing ability is a matter of surprise.

Beluga whales have very distinctive features for their hearing and seeing purposes. This article will discuss several overwhelming facts about their slighting and hearing ability. Stay tuned with me till the end to know those interesting matters about beluga whales.

Are Beluga Whales Blind? 

No. Beluga whales are not blind. They have acute vision both out and in water.

It is said that they have the best eyesight out of all the cetaceans. Their eyes are adapted to see through the waters. 

Besides, their cornea and lens features are corrected for nearsightedness when they are out of the water. This occurs due to the refraction of light rays from water to air.

Can Baby Beluga Whales See?

Yes, baby beluga whales can also see. They have the same features and structure in their eyes as any other adult whales.

Baby beluga whales might be tiny, but still, they are beluga. That’s why it’s natural for them to have the same characteristics as adult beluga whales. 

Like any adult beluga whale, beluga calves also have excellent eyesight, which works great underwater and on the surface.

Also Read: How Long Can Beluga Whales Hold Their Breath?

How Long is Beluga Whales’ Eyesight?

Beluga whales’ visual acuity is 14.4′ in the high-resolution temporal area. In comparison, it becomes 16.9′ in the nasal area.

Beluga has poorer visual acuity than many other marine creatures investigated so far. The main reason is that they have both rod and cone cells in their eyes. 

But their rod cells only can see grey color, and their cone cells lack short wavelength sensitive pigments.

Can Beluga Whales See at Night?

Yes, Beluga whales can see at night. Beluga whales’ cornea consists of both cone and rod cells. Therefore, they can differentiate between light and dark. Cone cells help to see in bright light, whereas rod cells are responsible for the ability to see in dim light. That means beluga whales can see in both dim and bright light.

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Can Beluga Whales See Through Walls?

No, beluga whales can’t see through the opaque walls. But they can sense what is on the other side of the obstacles.

Though beluga whales have excellent eyesight, they can’t see through walls. Seeing through walls is possible only when a different spectrum is used, and Beluga doesn’t have that feature. 

In other words, they can’t see through the wall if it’s not made of any transparent material. But sometimes, by using their sound system, they can imagine the view from the other side.

How Do Beluga Whales See Objects? 

Beluga whales have 3 unique features in their eyes, which makes them able to see in both water and on the surface. These unique characteristics are:

  1. They have two high-cell-density areas on their retina.
  2. Beluga whales’ corneas are curved. Therefore, their focusing power is incredible in both water and air.
  3. A special attribute of their pupil allows them to adapt to the light change when they move under the water.

That’s how beluga whales see clearly in any circumstances.

Also Read: Do Beluga Whales Have Teeth? Let’s Count Beluga Teeth!

Are Beluga Whales Deaf? 

beluga wahles ear

Although beluga whales are not deaf, they can go deaf in adverse situations. Perhaps, they have a great sense of hearing.

Underwater noise pollution hampers the normal activities of beluga whales. Loud noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss for beluga whales. 

They die eventually after losing their hearing ability. Beluga whales mostly rely on their hearing system for preying and staying safe from predators.

Can Beluga Whales Hear Music?

Yes, beluga whales can hear music. Not only can they hear, but they also love to hear music.

The hearing ability of beluga whales is well-developed because of their highly developed auditory cortex of the brain. They can hear sounds between 1.2 to 120 kHz.

The rhythmic sounds and sonic diversity of music attract them. Interestingly, they often hang around boats on the ocean when sailors sing.

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Can Beluga Whales Understand Human Language?

No, beluga whales can’t understand human language. But if they are trained well, they can follow commands.

Beluga whales are extremely intelligent, and that’s why they are easily trainable. Normally any random beluga whale won’t understand human language. 

But, when trained, they can understand what they are commanded because they remember the tone and body language of the trainer.

Can Beluga Whales Talk Like Humans? 

Beluga whales are capable of mimicking human language. But they can not continue the conversation like humans.

Their vocal bursts are 3 per second on average, with pauses like human speech. Unlike other whales, beluga whales’ sound frequencies are spread into harmonic and very close to human vocalization. That’s why they can replicate the sounds of humans when they hear them.

Also Read: Do Beluga Whales Have Knees?

What Noise do Beluga Whales Make?

Beluga whales generally make 3 types of sound: pulsed calls, whistles, and clicks.

Beluga whales make pulsed calls and whistles noise while communicating. Normally, they make pulsed calls frequently, which sound like screams, squeaks, and squawks to the human ear. 

Besides, clicking noise is made by them for navigation purposes. They differentiate between a friendly and predator environment by this.

Do Beluga Whales have Echolocation or Sonar?

Yes, beluga whales have echolocation or sonar, and it is their process of using sound for seeing purposes underwater.

They use echolocation to find food and for navigation reasons. The sound they use for echolocation is generally ultrasonic, with a frequency of almost 120 kHz. 

They send sounds to their surroundings, and when they bounce back, they can have an audible view of the surroundings.

What do Beluga Whales Sound Like?

Beluga whales are called “sea canaries” for being very vocal. The sounds of beluga whales can differ from whale to whale.

Almost 11 different sounds have been reported as beluga whales’ sounds. A few are clucks, mews, high-pitched resonant whistles and squeals, trills, chirps, and bell-like tones. Moreover, it is claimed that beluga whales can also sound more like human speech.

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Beluga Whale Sound Effects?

Beluga whales make various kinds of sounds for survival purposes, and the most popular among them is their echolocation.

Beluga whales don’t have any vocal cords. They use their blowholes and two air holes on the top of their heads. Beluga whales can manipulate the shapes of two air sacs by shrinking or blowing them. As a result, they can make sounds of various pitches.

How do Beluga Whales Communicate with Each Other?

Beluga whales use different kinds of sounds to communicate with each other. They also use many nonverbal techniques to communicate.

Beluga whales are social creatures and normally travel in groups. In the deep sea, it’s quite dark, and beluga whales have poorer vision in the dark than in the light. That’s why they prefer to use sound for communicating. 

They use clicks, squeaks, and whistles for verbal communication. But they also use their fins and tails to make loud slapping noises on the surface when they communicate nonverbally.

How Far Can Beluga Whales Echolocate?

Beluga whales can echolocate up to 500 meters away. That means they can have an imaginary vision of up to 500 meters of their surroundings.

High-frequency sounds don’t go long distances into water. But, low-frequency sounds travel longer due to their higher wavelength and energy. 

Beluga whales use the least frequency range of ultrasound than other creatures that also use echolocation. Hence, beluga whales can echolocate to further distances than them.

Conclusion

Beluga whales adapted well to survive underwater, and their unique vision and hearing ability make them suitable to live and protect themselves from predators. Did you get over your confusion about “Are beluga whales blind or deaf?”

If not, here’s the summary: beluga whales have incredible eyesight but are color-blind. Their great hearing ability allows them to use sounds to see and understand without using their eyes.

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