Narwhal Facts

Narwhal Facts
Narwhal is a type of whale that lives in the cold waters of Arctic (Atlantic and Russian and Canadian areas). Narwhal is also known as "Moon Whale" and the "unicorn of the sea". Narwhals are migratory species: they spend summer near the coast, and travel away from the shore during the winter to prevent being trapped with ice. Narwhals are hunted by Inuit people because of their skin, tusks and as a source of food. Narwhal's skin is rich in vitamin C. Besides hunting, number of narwhals is negatively affected by climate changes. Although narwhals are not listed as endangered, it is estimated that around 50 000 animals are left in the wild.
Interesting Narwhal Facts:
Narwhals are large animals. Males are larger than females. Males can reach length of 16 feet and weigh of 1.8 tones. Females are few feet shorter, usually weighing less than one ton.
Narwhals are close relatives of bottlenose dolphins, orcas, belugas and harbour porpoise.
Color of narwhal skin depends on its age. At birth, narwhal's skin is bluish-grey. Juvenile animals have bluish-black color of the skin. Adult animals are mottled grey. Very old narwhals are almost entirely white.
Name "narwhal" means "corpse whale". They are named that way because they often swim with their bellies at the surface of water. Also, they can remain motionless in that position for several minutes.
Narwhals can dive to the depth of 5000 feed while they are searching for food.
Narwhals are carnivores (meat-eaters). They feed on fish, shrimps, squids, cods.
Narwhals swim in groups called "pods". Pods can be very large, composed of hundreds of animals. More often, pods are smaller, composed of 2 to 10 animals. Often, pods consist of animals of only one sex.
Narwhals communicate using clicks, squeals and whistles. These high-pitched sounds may induce deafness in humans.
Narwhals have only two teeth. One of them grows rapidly and passes right through the upper lip, becoming a tusk. Tusk is the most prominent feature of the narwhal's body.
Tusk is made of ivory. It is spiral, hollow and can reach the length of up to 8.8 feet.
Females also develop tusks, but their tusks are much shorter than tucks in males.
Scientists are not sure why narwhals develop tusks. They probably use tusks during mating rituals, to attract females, and to gain a chance to mate. Males can broke tusks during the fight. Broken tusk cannot be repaired (it does not re-grow).
Mating takes place during spring. Males reach sexual maturity between the age 8 and 10. Pregnancy lasts 14 to 15 months and ends with one baby.
Baby narwhal is brown at birth. It is usually 5 feet long and can have 175 pounds of weight.
Narwhal can survive up to 50 years in the wild.

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