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(bəlo͞o`gə) or

white whale,

small, toothed northern whalewhale,
aquatic mammal of the order Cetacea, found in all oceans of the world. Members of this order vary greatly in size and include the largest animals that have ever lived. Cetaceans never leave the water, even to give birth.
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, Delphinapterus leucas. The beluga may reach a length of 19 ft (5.8 m) and a weight of 4,400 lb (2,000 kg). It has a small, round head, with a short, broad, beaklike snout, and a flexible neck; its flippers are short, broad, and rounded, and it lacks a dorsal fin. It produces a variety of noises and is sometimes called a sea canary. The young are born with dark fur but become almost pure white in maturity. Belugas winter in the Arctic Ocean, feeding upon crustaceans, fish, and squid; they are often found in groups of several hundred individuals. They mate in spring, and in summer they enter northern rivers. The young are born after a gestation period of 14 months, one calf every second year. The beluga is hunted by the Eskimo for food and by commercial whalers for its hide, which is known as porpoise hide. Beluga is also the common name of the largest of the sturgeonssturgeon,
primitive fish of the northern regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Unlike evolutionarily advanced fishes, it has a fine-grained hide, with very reduced scalation, a mostly cartilaginous skeleton, upturned tail fins, and a mouth set well back on the underside of
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. Beluga whales are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Cetacea, family Monodontidae.



(Huso huso), a valuable commercial fish of the sturgeon family.

The beluga is up to 9 m long. It weighs up to 1 ton or up to 1.5 tons in exceptional cases. The beluga is distinguished from other sturgeons by its huge crescent-shaped mouth and fused branchial membranes. Beluga live in the Caspian, Black, Azov, and Adriatic seas, from which they enter the rivers. They reach sexual maturity at 12–18 years, when they are about 2 m long. They enter the rivers for reproduction, producing from 0.5 to 5 million eggs. When beluga are in the Volga two races are distinguished: the spring beluga (which enter the river in April and spawn in May of the same year) and the winter beluga (which enter the river in the fall and spawn in the spring of the following year). The beluga fry slip out to sea, where they feed on mollusks and crustaceans. The adults feed on various fish (roach, herring, gobies, anchovies, Black Sea haddock, and others).

The roe of the beluga is larger than that of other sturgeons and is used mainly in the manufacture of soft caviar. The number of beluga has been sharply reduced by the destruction of the conditions for their reproduction by construction of a series of hydroelectrical projects, as well as by the pollution of rivers with industrial waste.


Berg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Promyslovye ryby SSSR: Opisanie ryb. Moscow, 1949. [Text and atlas.]


1. a large white sturgeon, Acipenser (or Huso) huso, of the Black and Caspian Seas: a source of caviar and isinglass
2. another name for white whale
References in periodicals archive ?
Beluga caviar is prized for its soft, extremely large (pea-size) eggs.
Peter Lee, Executive Sous Chef at Hullett House, said, "For customers to experience how deluxe a club sandwich can be, we included premium ingredients, such as Beluga caviar, which is one of the most expensive caviars in the world, A5 Wagyu beef and Balik salmon, which costs around [pounds sterling]107 (HKD1300) per kilo.
The Fashionista contains Russian beluga caviar, fresh basil, organic basil and tomato sauce, soft mozerella, fresh cherry tomatoes and aged balsomico.
On top of the finished burger, Serendipity 3 adds a small blini, which is a small pancake similar to a crepe, some creme fraiche -- essentially a less-sour cream -- and Kaluga caviar, which is similar to Beluga caviar in almost every way and costs about $80 per ounce.
Lee has crafted several dishes specifically for the UAE market which complement familiar Hakkasan signature dishes such as Peking duck with Royal Beluga caviar, steamed dim sum platters and grilled Wagyu beef with king soya sauce.
Chef Pang Pin Lee has infused his own style to the menu with new dishes that have been specifically crafted for the UAE market sitting alongside celebrated Hakkasan classics such as the Peking duck with Royal Beluga caviar, steamed dim sum platters and grilled Wagyu beef with King Soya sauce.
They have repeatedly failed to do, against a backdrop of regional wrangling and rivalries - and last year trade in Beluga caviar was halted altogether as they fell short of a deal.
You may expect Beluga caviar or Kobe beef to be on the menu, but Wayne opted for chicken nuggets and chips at an eye-watering pounds 25.
At a meeting in Tehran, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan agreed on new beluga caviar export quotas which would run until February 28, 2011, said the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in a statement.
During the flight the finest cuisines and delicacies including beluga caviar, the best vintage beverages and a gourmet dinner specially prepared by Royal Jet's exclusive in-flight chef will be served, according to a statement.
For the price, the ingredients don't seem out of the ordinary -- after all, you cannot use Beluga caviar, white truffles or bird's nest in butter chicken.
IN lifestyles of the rich and famous, chalky soil is to champagne as the Caspian Sea is to Beluga caviar - you can't have one without the other, and the former tastes like liquid gold