The beluga whale is a medium-sized species of cetaceans found in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic waters. It shows sexual dimorphism; males are bigger in size and weight than females. Here, we gathered information about how much does a beluga whale weigh, how much a male, female, and baby beluga whale weigh, and their weight comparison with other toothed whales and humans.
How Much Does A Beluga Whale Weigh
The average weight of a beluga whale ranges from 1 to 1.5 tons (907 to 1,360 kg). Beluga is one of the mid-sized species of toothed whales. It inhabits the frigid waters of the Arctic and has a thick layer of fats beneath their skin called blubber.
Blubber in belugas can be up to 5.9 inches (15 cm) thick and accounts for more than 40% of their body weight. In other cetaceans it makes about 30% of their body weight. It is an adaptation for the Arctic habitat because blubber provides them insulation between 0 and 18 ℃ and also serves as a reserve when food is not available. Blubber covers all their body except the head.
Beluga is a sexually dimorphic species; males and females differ in body weight and size. Males are heavier than females. Males have an average weight of 1,360 kg (2,998 pounds) and females have 907 kg (2,000 pounds).
How Much Do Male Beluga Whales Weigh?
Male beluga whales have an average body weight of about 1,360 kg (2,998 pounds). Their weight ranges from 1,100 to 1,600 kg (2,430 to 3,530 pounds).
How Much Do Female Beluga Whales Weigh
Female belugas are smaller in size and weight than males. They have an average weight of about 907 kg (2,000 pounds). Typically, they weigh between 700 and 1,200 kg (1,540 and 2,650 pounds).
How Much Do Baby Beluga Whales Weigh
Newborn belugas weigh about 80 kg (180 pounds) and have about 1.5 meter (4 feet 11 inch) size. Their average body weight at birth ranges from 54 to 64 kg (119 to 140 pounds). Beluga calves start feeding with mother milk after a few hours of their birth. The milk contains about 60% water, 28% fats, 11% proteins, and about 1% residual solids.
The milk supplies about 92 cal per ounce. Their teeth appear at the age of about one year and they also start eating shrimps and small fish. The calves grow quickly and continue nursing for about 20 to 24 months. The calves attain their maximum adult size at the age of 10 years.
How Big Do Beluga Whales Get – Biggest Beluga Whale Ever Recorded
No comprehensive data is available on the biggest beluga whale ever recorded. However, the reported maximum adult weight is 1633 kg (3600 pounds). Exceptionally large male individuals attain a size of 18 feet and weigh more than 3,500 pounds.
Factors Influencing The Weight Of Beluga Whales
Factors like age, sex, and diet influence the weight of beluga whales:
Age: Older belugas have a greater body weight than younger belugas. Belugas attain the size of adults at the age of ten years.
Sex: Beluga whale is a sexually dimorphic species and males have larger body weight and size than females. The weight of males ranges from 1,100 to 1,600 kg (2,430 to 3,530 pounds) while females from 700 and 1,200 kg (1,540 and 2,650 pounds).
Diet: Food supply is also a factor that greatly influences the weight of beluga whales. When food is abundantly available, they eat a lot, grow well, and gain weight. However, when enough food is not available, they remain small and have lower body weight.
Beluga Whale Weight Comparison With Other Toothed Whales
In the following table, the weight of beluga whale is compared with some other toothed whales:
|S.No||Toothed Whale Species||Average Body Weight|
|1||Beluga Whale||907 to 1,360 kg|
|3||Orca or Killer Whale||5,443 kg|
|4||Sperm Whale||31,752 to 40,823 kg (35 to 45 tons)|
|5||False Killer Whale||1,200 to 2,300 kg|
|6||Amazon River Dolphin||204 kg|
|7||Bottlenose Dolphin||499 kg|
|8||Long-finned Pilot Whale||2,500 to 4,500 kg|
|9||Cuvier’s Beaked Whale||1,814 to 3,175 kg|
|10||Harbour Porpoise||61 to 76 kg|
Beluga Whale Weight Comparison With Humans
Beluga whales are heavier than humans. Even a newborn calf that weighs about 80 kg has about the same weight of an adult male human.
An adult man has an average body weight from 60 to 80 kg. While an adult beluga has an average weight of 907 to 1,360 kg. So an adult beluga whale is about 12 to 20 times heavier than an adult human.