Are You Lacking Narhwhal Knowledge? Learn More About These Mysterious Creatures Of The Deep!

Are You Lacking Narhwhal Knowledge? Learn More About These Mysterious Creatures Of The Deep!

Posted by Matthew Prior on 8th Jun 2017

In light of World Oceans Day, we would like for you to meet someone very precious.

He’s a little shy and we don’t get to see him often, even if he does grow over five metres and weigh almost a tonne- basically, a bus. We don’t know how many long-toothed friends and cousins he has in the world because he can be so scarce, it is hard to find out. However, he is renowned for one particular feature that is unmissable- his crazy-long, sword-like ivory tooth.

We would like for you to meet the fabled unicorn of the sea, the Narwhal.

Narwhal

Imagine an orca with a built-in wand on his nose, that’s how magical this guy is. In fact, some lucky Narwhals have two! Now that’s just bragging…

The long tooth, or tusk, actually has sensory capability, which has baffled us land folk for years. Why does a Narwhal need this tusk? How long does it grow?

Well, according to National Geographic, scientists are still not too sure about why they have them, but nevertheless speculated that the purpose could be to do with mating rituals. You know, whoever has the biggest tusk wins the female. But we are sure they use it to also fight off other male suitors if needed, because, why wouldn’t you?

“Stay away from my Narwhal girlfriend…” *clink*

It is important to note that a female also can grow a tooth/tusk, but never matching the lengthy 10 ft. tusks of a male.

So, what do Narwhals do for fun?

They eat! Or at least attempt to eat. Particularly, they enjoy a nice Greenland Halibut or ten for their daily meal, and if it’s a special occasion they’ll grab an Arctic or Polar Cod (or ten). Narwhals do stick together, so it is normal for pods of fifteen or thirty to be hanging out together, scouring the waters for their desired dinners.

If you didn’t realise already, they also like their privacy. So, they dive one and a half miles deeper into the ocean for that very opportunity. As long as they come up for air every thirty minutes, they’re doing just fine. One can only imagine what they talk about down there…

That is rather deep, not one of our volunteers at our diving projects has managed this feat yet. Mind you, they are powerful swimmers and can get just pop their noses (and tusk) through any sea ice on the surface to get their oxygen.

What does the future hold?

Yes, the name Narwhal sounds like a magical animal hidden in Newt Scamander’s suitcase, and yes, you have just let off a strange groan when saying “narwhal” out loud (Ha! You just did it!) but this mysterious mammal has got marine biologists around the world captivated after recent drone footage spotted probable extensive migratory movements just north of Canada.

In fact, Canada is a good starting point to try and spot these tremendously introverted porpoises, because they really prefer Arctic waters, including around Greenland and northern Russia. Studies are starting to come to fruition by excited scientists in order to get more knowledge of their migration patterns, communicative skills and feeding habits. The WWF themselves are now using satellite tracking to document what they find.

So, watch this space, because Narwhals are pretty darn cool!


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