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Thursday
Dec172009

Its a boy!

Congrats to the folks at Shedd Aquarium on the birth of a baby beluga whale - one of my personal favourite species (you will never meet a sweeter disposition in all the oceans).   Tell me this isnt the cutest little grey slug on the planet.

The little fella was born head first, which makes great sense for humans - where taking that first breath of fresh air is just a birth canal away - but not so great for whales, where you have to hold your breath until the rest of you comes out, before rushing to the surface.  In whales, such a head-first birth is considered a breech birth.  Nonetheless, he's apparently doing just fine.

He'll be grey for the first couple of years of life and then gradually get ever whiter, until he earns the common name for the species: "beluga" is Russian for white (and is actually pronounced more like b'loo-HA, with the H way in the back of the throat)

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