Image for Sea canaries

Sea canaries

Duration: 01:31

In the Canadian Arctic beluga whales gather in the few weeks when the ice leaves the shores. At this time, they assemble in vast numbers, sometimes up to a thousand at once. No one knows exactly why they come to this particular area. It may be because there is a particular food that they find in these shallow waters since they sometimes seem to deliberately stir up the gravelly bottom of the bay. Many who come are females with babies that are only a few months old swimming swiftly in their mothers' slipstreams. Belugas are nicknamed sea canaries because of the sounds they make. A young one twirls round and round in play.

Available since: Tue 11 Oct 2011

This clip is from

The Living Planet The Open Ocean

11/12 David Attenborough explores the ocean, which covers 70 per cent of the Earth's surface.

First broadcast: 29 Mar 1984

Image for The Open Ocean Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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