A layer of blubber between 2.5 and 9.5 centimetres thick, which lies beneath the skin, acts as an efficient insulator—helping to maintain body temperature—and is an energy reserve.
Ages of beluga whales, and many other wild mammals, are determined by counting growth layer markings in their teeth.
Belugas are about 5 feet long at birth and weigh 90–130 pounds. Females are smaller than males, rarely growing over 12 feet.
Reports of adult beluga weights vary from 1000–3300 pounds. Breeding occurs in the spring, and gestation lasts approximately 14 months.
Once on the seafloor, belugas will suck in any unsuspecting prey into its mouth.
Unlike other whales, belugas have necks that are flexible that allow them to have a wide range of movement and effectively making foraging the ocean floor for food that much easier.
Belugas are generally considered to be opportunistic feeders.
"I think it's important that people know that pristine places like this beluga place, is one of a kind in the world," said Weber."You don't have anyone to back you if you get stuck in the mud, or hurt yourself, you're out there on the land hundreds of kilometres from anything." Weber said the first generations of drones were not made to be used in the Arctic's cold climates and fierce winds, where a GPS signal is sometimes hard to get.It took Weber a number of years and a few crashes before successfully navigating a drone last summer.At the present time, the Ungava Bay population of beluga whales is thought to number less than 100.Belugas, also known as white whales, are warm-blooded, air-breathing mammals, well adapted to life in cold arctic waters."It's something that we should look into and hopefully save, because it might not be there in the future." Capturing wildlife on camera in the harsh Arctic climate is not easy."You're so far up North you're basically relying on your own skills," said Weber.For years it was thought that belugas were unique among mammals because it had previously been accepted that two growth layers represented one year of growth.New scientific evidence published in 2006 rejected that interpretation and concluded that one growth layer actually represents one year of growth.The Ungava Bay population of Beluga whales experienced a dramatic decline at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, caused for the most part by the excessive commercial whaling.Although commercial hunting all but ceased by 1950, beluga numbers have not shown any signs of recovery.