The Beluga or White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is an Arctic and sub-Arctic species of cetacean. It is one of two members of the family Monodontidae, along with the Narwhal. This marine mammal is commonly referred to simply as the Beluga or Sea Canary due to its high-pitched twitter. It is up to 5 m (15 ft) in length and an unmistakable all-white color with a distinctive protuberance on the head. From a conservation perspective, the Beluga is considered "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however the sub-population from the Cook Inlet in Alaska is considered critically endangered and has been placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. federal government.
The Beluga is a highly sociable creature. Groups of males may number in the hundreds, but mothers with calves generally mix in slightly smaller groups. When pods do aggregate in estuaries, they may number in the thousands. This can represent a significant proportion of the entire Beluga population and is the time when they are most vulnerable to hunting.
Beluga are also known for being rather playful, as well as spitting at humans or other whales. It is not unusual for an aquarium handler to be sprayed down by one of his charges whilst tending a Beluga tank. Some researchers believe that this skill may be utilized to blow away sand from crustaceans at the sea bottom. Unlike most whales, it is capable of swimming backwards.
Below you will find a gallery of inspirational images that will help you in your quest of creating the perfect whale tattoo.