Watching Beluga Whales glide through the oceanarium pool at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
Here’s a close-up:
According to the Shedd’s website, belugas have permanently upturned mouths so they look like they are smiling all the time. Which could be because they are very sociable and have natural playful behaviors – they might turn a curious gaze your way, crinkle their melons (foreheads) and whistle‚àö¬¢‚Äö√á¬®‚Äö√Ñ√πor even spit a stream of water. Often called ‚àö¬¢‚Äö√á¬®‚âà√¨canaries of the sea,‚àö¬¢‚Äö√á¬®¬¨√π beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) broadcast squeals, trills, chirps and other sounds through their blowholes. Belugas live in the frigid waters near the Arctic Circle. Two layers of blubber pad their stocky, cigar-shaped bodies to keep them warm. Even though adults can grow to 18 feet and weigh up to 3,300 pounds, their skin color, which is slate gray at birth and gradually becomes creamy white, invisibly blends them into their icy background.