Wildlife Journal Junior!
New Hampshire PBS

Home       |       Wild Files       |       N.H. Animals       |       Animals A-Z       |       Watch Online

Monodontidae - belugas, narwhals

BelugaThere are only two species of medium-sized toothed whales in this family. They are 11-15 feet in length and weigh about 3,000 pounds. They are found in cold waters in the Northern Hemisphere.

The beluga whale is found in arctic and subarctic waters in the Northern Hemisphere. It is white and has a large, round melon; a small snout; small, rounded flippers; and small eyes. It has a single blow hole and no dorsal fin. Belugas hunt in shallow waters for fish, squid, octopus, and crustaceans. Belugas swallow their prey whole. Beluga whales can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.

Narwhals are found in arctic waters in the Northern Hemisphere. Narwhals are easily identified by their long tusk. The tusk is actually a tooth and is only present on the male. Scientists aren't sure what the tusk is used for! Narwhals are 13-16 feet long and weigh up to 2,500 pounds. Narwhals are bluish-gray with white spots. They have a round head, rounded flippers, and no dorsal fin. Narwhals eat fish, squid, octopus, and crustaceans.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

None   Beluga - Delphinapterus leucas Near Threatened
Narwhal - Monodon monoceros Near Threatened

Species Around the World

Location Key
Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North/Central America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH Species
Arctic OceanArctic Ocean atlantic OceanAtlantic Ocean indian OceanIndian Ocean southern oceanMediterranean/Black Sea pacific oceanPacific Ocean

Beluga - Delphinapterus leucas Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
Narwhal - Monodon monoceros Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
   

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Beluga - Delphinapterus leucas profile Photos Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
The beluga is also called the white whale, the white porpoise, the sea canary,and the squid hound.
Source: Enchanted Learning Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Elementary School Teacher Section: No

Beluga - Delphinapterus leucas profile Photos Video Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
The beluga isn't born white; it is brown or gray at birth and becomes whiter as it matures.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Beluga - Delphinapterus leucas profile Photos Audio Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
Beluga are social and very vocal.
Source: National Geographic Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Narwhal - Monodon monoceros profile Photos Video Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
The male narwhal's tusk is really just a really large tooth.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Narwhal - Monodon monoceros profile Photos Audio Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
Narwhals travel in pods of 15-20 individuals.
Source: National Geographic Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Narwhal - Monodon monoceros profile Photos Near Threatened Asia Europe North America Arctic Ocean atlantic Ocean pacific ocean
Narwhal means "corpse whale" in Old Norse.
Source: Enchanted Learning Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Elementary School Teacher Section: No