Beluga Social and Feeding Habits

Belugas often travel in large groups, gathered closely together on breeding grounds, and spread out while feeding. Females accompanied by juveniles tend to favor areas characterized by relatively calm, shallow water with sand gravel and mud bottoms, while mixed herds of males and adult females without calves inhabit deeper, colder waters with upwellings and vertical mixing of waters.

Beluga whales eat a wide variety of benthic and pelagic prey such as worms, crustaceans, squid, octopus and small fish in shallow and coastal waters although diets vary with season, location, age and body size. Arctic species feed mainly on shallow water fish. An adult beluga will consume approximately 55 lbs (25 kg) of food in a day.

Beluga whales can remain submerged for 15-20 minutes and may travel up to 2-3 km on one dive. This allows them to pursue their primary diet of small fish such as capulin, char, sand lance and cod.

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