Welcome to our site. Here you will find abundant information and facts about beluga whales. Please use the navigation to the right to navigate through our site. The Beluga Whale or White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is an Arctic and sub-arctic species of cetacean. This marine mammal is commonly referred to simply as the Beluga - the word derives from the Russian beloye meaning white.
The Beluga was first described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1776. It is a member of the Monodontidae taxonomic family alongside the Narwhal. The Irrawaddy Dolphin was also once considered to be in the same family though recent genetic evidence suggests otherwise.
The earliest known genetic ancestor of the Beluga is the now-extinct Denebola brachycephala from the late Miocene period. A single fossil has been found on the Baja California peninsula, indicating that the family once thrived in warmer waters. The fossil record also indicates that in comparatively recent times the Beluga's range has varied with that of the ice pack – expanded during ice ages and contracting when the ice retreats.