How Big Are Beluga Whales?

In general, Beluga whales reach an average of 4.8 meters (16 feet) in length and weigh an average of 1.4 tons (3,150 pounds). The male is bigger than the female. About 40% of a beluga’s body weight is fat, which gives it a giant size.

Also, keep in mind that Beluga whales (white whales) are one of the smallest species of whales in the cetacean family. These small whales belong to the toothed whale family. They are easily recognized for their white color and domed-shaped head.

How Big Are Beluga Whales?

Beluga whales are easily recognizable for their unusual coloration. Also, it easily distinguishes them from other whales.

Calves are gray or brown after born and do not turn white until they reach sexual maturity at about the age of five. At that stage, they may be 3-5 feet long.

According to National Geographic, adult whales are 4m to 6.1 m (13-20 ft) long and weigh 2,000-3,000 pounds (907 to 1361 kg). It’s almost similar to a minibus.

How Big Can Beluga Whales Get?

In terms of size, adult beluga whales are slightly bigger than narwhals (a length of about 5.5 m or 18 feet). They are the only cetacean species (dolphins and whales) with a mobile neck.

The biggest size of the whale depends on its age and lifespan. But scientists are not sure about their lives. Some believe they can live from 35 to 50 years, while others believe they live until 80. It mainly depends on the teeth they lose each year.

Therefore, the more lifespan it will have, the bigger it will grow. Data from National Geography ensure that Beluga whales may grow up to 20 feet (6.2m).

Beluga Whales Length and Weight

Beluga whales generally grow up in the arctic ocean. They have a variety of growth in terms of males and females. On average, a male beluga whale is 25% larger than a female and weighs between 500 to 1,000 pounds more than a female.

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Now, look at the height and weight of a Beluga whale from calf to adult.

Body StateLengthWeight
Baby whale5 feet (1.6m) 90-130 lbs (40-60kg)
Male whale11.2-15.1feet (3.4–4.6m)3307 lbs (1500kg)
Female whale9.8–13.1 feet (3-4m)3000 lbs (1360kg)

A male beluga whale becomes an adult at 7 to 9, while a female whale may take up to 4 to 7 years to mature. Also, remember that a female whale rarely exceeds 12 feet. Sometimes the adult male may reach up to 18-20 feet.

What Is the Weight of Beluga Whales When Pregnant?

pregnant beluga

Belugas weight also fluctuates at the time of pregnancy. That’s because she grows up a baby inside, and she needs extra food for her.

Usually, Beluga whales give birth to cubs every three years, from 8 to 10 years of age. Reproduction occurs during spring, and the gestation period lasts about 14 months. The calves come out during summer, and mothers feed baby whales for around two years.

As we said earlier, belugas calves are gray at birth and become white with age. They are under 3 to 5 feet (1-1.5m) long at birth and weigh between 90 and 140 pounds (40-65kg).

On the other hand, a female beluga is around 9.8-13.1 feet (3-4m) long and weighs about 3000 pounds.

Also, they need a lot of food, nearly 50-60 pounds daily during pregnancy. A female whale generally becomes heavy during pregnancy and weighs around 3150-3200 pounds (1428-1450 kg).

How Big Are Beluga Whales’ Teeth?

Beluga whales always wait for the chance for food. They eat herring, mackerel, cod, salmon, capelin, flounder, sculpin, long cod, and eulachon.

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Also, they feed on octopuses, shrimp, squid, crabs, mussels, snails, clams, and sandworms. The calves get teeth between 12 and 18 months and start eating small sea creatures.

Generally, Beluga whales have around 34-40 teeth in the upper and lower jaws. Teeth are around 1-5 inches long and adapted for tearing and grasping, not chewing. Whales will suck on their food, ensuring it’s diminutive enough, so it doesn’t stick in the throats.

Are Beluga Whales Bigger Than Dolphins?

Yes, Belugas are bigger than dolphins. In fact, their body size keeps them in between a dolphin and an actual whale.

Belugas have the same body shape as dolphins, but dolphin bodies are more tapered towards the tail. Dolphins hold torpedo-shaped bodies, long and thin.

The body length of the dolphin ranged from around 1.3-7.6 m. Adults are 2 6-13 feet(2-4m) long and weigh 150 to 650 kg (330-1,430 pounds). Adults are usually about 8 feet (2.5 meters) tall, and weights range from 200-300 kg (440-600 pounds). Like belugas, males are slightly taller than females.

Dolphins’ body size mainly depends on their habitat. In warm, shallow waters, the dolphins tend to be smaller than their counterparts in cool pelagic waters.

A study shows that dolphins inhabiting the world’s most extended northern range recorded an adult height of under 4 meters (13 feet).

Florida’s average height is 2.5 meters (8 feet). These heights and weights are lower than the beluga whales in all cases.

Are Beluga Whales Bigger Than Orcas?

Orcas are one of the most easily recognizable marine mammals in the world. People also call them killer whales. They are the most prominent and brilliant social animals. They go out hunting together, raising their young and caring for the sick or wounded.

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Male killer whales are about 20-26 feet long, weighing between 8,000 and 12,000 pounds which is more than the beluga whale. On the other hand, female killer whales are slightly smaller, around 18 to 22 feet long, and weigh 8,000 to 11,000 pounds.

Baby whales are 7-8 feet long and around 400 pounds at birth. The biggest male orcas were recorded at about 10m (32 feet), and the female was approximately 8.5m (28 feet) (Source).

In all stages, they are bigger than the Belugas whale. So, we say that beluga whales are not more extensive than orcas.

Comparing The Size of A Beluga Whale To A Human

This section is quite interesting, comparing a Beluga whale with a human. Isn’t it?

Think about a man of 16 feet. Will he look like a monster or not?

The tallest man in the world was Robert Wadlow. He was around 2.72m (8 feet 11 inches) taller. Even he got that abnormal height due to hypertrophy of the pituitary gland.

Now compare Belugas with humans. They are quite similar to humans in behavior, as they have discipline and emotion. But in size, there is a huge difference.

The average size of a Beluga whale is around 16 feet and 3000 pounds (talked earlier). The length equals two Robert Wadlow or 3-4 average-sized humans.

However, the weight equals two Jon Brower Minnoch or 5-8 average-sized humans. The baby whale after birth is similar to a human in length, but it exceeds 2-3 average-sized humans in weight.

Conclusion

That’s all about the size of the Beluga whale. If you want to know more, contact us directly for information.

Another threatening fact is that this arctic beauty is on the verge of extinction because of water pollution and people prey on them for recreation. Let’s promise to save the animal and save the environment to avoid ecological hazards.

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