Home Magazines Did You Know? Narwhal



Imagine a big, big mammal with a spiral, long, handsome tusk protruding from its anterior, swimming the seas amongst the ice in the North Pole. That’s a narwhal for you.

Narwhals swim the coastal waters and rivers of the Arctic, and have fascinated people for centuries. The earliest accounts describe it as a “sea monster that could wreck ships with its long tusk-like weapon…” These beautiful whales most certainly have monstrously long tusks that can grow up to 2.7 m. long but these are seldom used for fighting or attacking. They do not use their tusks for killing prey as is often believed. They are peaceful animals until provoked, when their sheer size and weight can prove deadly.

Narwhals are generally born with two ivory teeth, one of which, in males, grows to be much more prominent and protrudes through their upper lip, spiralling beautifully and tapering at the tip. In females it does not grow to be so prominent, but they do have smaller tusks. Scientists believe that the males’ tusk’s main purpose is in mating rituals, though, it is still uncertain. Narwhals are poorly studied and there is a lot we do not know of their behaviour. They are born bluish grey and change colour as they grow; juveniles sport blue-black skin and as adults they turn mottled grey. Aged narwhals can be easily identified by their almost entirely white-coloured skin. They usually travel in groups of 10 to 20 and their diet mainly includes fish, shrimp and squids among other aquatic organisms.

Most whales are known to migrate long distances, but narwhals never swim beyond Arctic waters. They are spread across the seas of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Bachata pamokos ir salsos šokiai Vilniuje gera kaina SalsaSisters

First appeared in: Sanctuary Cub, January, 2015.


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