That beluga whale certainly doesn’t have legs. Here’s what it does have.
Beluga whales aren’t hiding legs under their thick, rubbery skin. But a popular image of a surfacing beluga has for years created the curious illusion of a whale with legs and knees.
The image, which excites the web from time to time, has recently turned up again. These symmetrical, bone-like features surely aren’t legs, but they do serve an important purpose for the marine mammals, which naturally reside in frigid Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.
It’s blubber. Specifically, long “rails” of extra fatty insulation the mammals store on their sides. Read more…