Also known as the underwater Unicorn the Narwhal is a very special animal in its own right. They possess very unusual behaviours and also have a very long tusk. Narwhales are related to bottlenose dolphins, belugas and orcas. They are highly social creatures and will usually be found in groups known as pods ranging from 60 – 100. A baby can measure about 5 foot long and weigh up to 220 pounds. They do change colour as they get older starting off from a dark blue then into grey and when they reach adulthood they will become white. They can be found in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia.
The most unusual part of a Narwhale is the long tusk that they have. Looking like a unicorn the tusk is actually a tooth. The tooth will grow much large in males rather than females who either have a small tooth or not at all. As the Narwhale comes up for air, the
tooth will protrude the surface of the water. The tooth, however, can get pretty long, measuring up to 10ft itself. The Narwhales body will then add another 10 foot. Therefore making
the overall length of the Narwhale up to 20ft long. The tooth will grow through the upper lip of the Narwhale. Although scientists don’t know what the tooth is for they possibly believe it is used for attracting females. The tooth will contain 10 million nerve endings. The average life span of a Narwhale is 40-50 years. Unfortunately, they are on the endangered list as there are only 75,000 left in the ocean.
Another factor that makes the Narwhale very different is its diet. It will eat arctic cod,
shrimp, armhook squid, cuttlefish and Greenland halibut. The Narwhale will usually use sonar to locate these prey items like Dolphins. Narwhals are hunted by polar bears and
Oras. There main threat though alongside humans is ice. Due to them living in Artic the ice caps are constantly moving and if the Narwhals come to a dead end they risk been trapped. This will result in them diving down and hoping to find a way out which could result in death.
The breeding season for Narwhales is usually from March til May. The female can only reproduce once every 3 years. This is because she will have a 16 month gestation period only carrying one calf and then she will spend a year raising the calf. The calf will then spend up to 2 years with the mother staying very close for protection. After the 2 year period, the calf will start to venture out more and hunt for itself.
Interesting fact you didn’t know before reading this!!!
There is roughly as much vitamin C in one ounce of narwhal skin as there is in one ounce of oranges.
Narwhals also don’t have a dorsal fin. This is believed to be an evidence of evolution. The dorsal fin would get in the way while swimming under the ice.