06 August 2010

Ice Swimming with Belugas

A 38-year old photographer Andrey Nekrasov took these amazing photos of divers swimming with beluga whales underneath the ice of White Sea.

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 meters (16 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 is under the protection of the United States’ Endangered Species Act. [www.weirdpalace.com]

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