Interesting Facts

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  • They are often called the “unicorns of the sea”
  • Narwhals communicate through squeaks(Audio here)
  • Narwhals are known for their diving abilities, reaching depths of close to 5,000 feet
  • Narwhals are warm blooded, produce milk, and give birth to their young

NARWHA COOK FACTS

Diet

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Narwhals consume fish, squid, shrimp, Greenland halibut, cod, rockfish,  flounder, and crab.They primarily feed near the sea floor deep under the ice of the Arctic. Narwhals only have two vestigial teeth; the male narwhal tusk is thought to play little to no role in feeding because males and tuskless females consume the same diet. 

eating

Reproduction

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Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) mother and baby, Kaluctoo Bay, Canada

The reproductive process of Narwhals is a very fascinating one. The gestation period is generally between ten and sixteen months. Calves, also known as baby narwhals, are brown and have no spots but as they mature in age their colors change to become blue-gray with white spots; the calves are nursed for four months after birth. The birthing interval for narwhals is about three years (the annual population birth rate is 0.07).

With regards to courting, males often times joust their tusks to court the females. The female narwhal reaches sexual maturity about about age 6 while the male at about 9. 

Geographic Distribution

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narwhals whales

Narwhals migrate from the Arctic to Northwestern Greenland. Most of their time is spent living in the Arctic under frozen ice. Narwhals travel in pods between 10 and 100 and follow the distribution of ice to move towards the coasts during the summer. 

NARWHAL WORLD

 

Ancestry

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Narwhals have had many transitional forms; they originated from a specie that originally walked on land. Narwhals are related to other marine life such as dolphins, orcas, and belugas.

narwhal ancestry tho

Scientific Name: Monodon Monoceros

Order: cetartiodactyln

Family: Monodontidae

Genus: Monodon

Morphology

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Narwhals can be between four and vie meters in length; their tusks alone, a trait unique to males, is on average three meters long. Like other marine mammals, narwhals have flukes and fins for locomotion. They also seem to lack a dorsal fine. Most likely, this evolutionary adaptation is probably due to the ice habitat they live in.