Interesting facts about narwhals

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We found 24 interesting facts about narwhals

Sea unicorn

Monodon Monoceros, or single-toothed narwhal, is the only member of the genus Monodon in the narwhal family. These relatively small mammals have gained popularity due to their unique appearance, earning them the nickname “unicorn of the sea.”

1

Single-toothed narwhals were first described in 1758 by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in his work The System of Nature.

2

Male narwhals are larger than females.

The average body length of a female is about 4 meters, a male is 4,5 meters.

3

A characteristic feature of narwhals is their spirally twisted tusk.

It grows on the left side of the upper jaw. It can reach 3 meters in length and weigh up to ten kilograms. The tusks of females are slightly shorter and smoother than those of males.

4

The narwhal's tusks are innervated.

Scientists say that due to this, they receive different types of stimuli from the environment, such as temperature changes and chemical changes in the environment. It is unknown whether this is a new direction of evolution or an atavism.

5

It is estimated that 1 in 500 narwhals have not one but two tusks.

6

They live in Arctic waters, most often off the coast of Greenland.

7

Narwhals, like all cetaceans, cannot breathe underwater.

8

They do not have a dorsal fin.

9

The current narwhal population is estimated at approximately 80 individuals.

They were once an endangered species due to intensive fishing. Currently, narwhal fishing is unprofitable, so their population quickly recovered. However, they are a delicacy among the Inuit due to their nutrient-rich skin.

10

A narwhal's pregnancy lasts about 15 months.

One litter usually produces one baby.

11

They are related to common bottlenose dolphins, killer whales and harbor porpoises.

12

The closest relative of the narwhal is the Arctic beluga.

13

They travel in groups of 15-20 individuals.

14

Narwhal skin is very rich in vitamin C.

15

With age they change color.

Newborn narwhals are blue-gray, young ones are blue-black, adults are spotted, and older narwhals are almost completely white.

16

Narwhals can swim underwater on one breath for about 25 minutes.

17

The average lifespan of narwhals is 30 – 40 years.

18

Narwhals are preyed upon by killer whales and polar bears.

19

They feed mainly on squid, shrimp and fish.

They do not chew food mechanically, but suck it whole.

20

A narwhal can eat about 30 kilograms of food per day.

21

The average weight of a narwhal ranges from about a ton for females to 1 kilogram for males.

They consist of 40% fat.

22

Narwhals communicate using echolocation.

23

We won't see narwhals outside of their natural habitat.

Attempts to breed narwhals in captivity ended in failure, since the animals died very quickly after capture.

24

Climate change poses a huge threat to narwhals.

Melting glaciers expose narwhals to more attacks from predators.

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