Narwhal Whales

Monodon monoceros

Habitat

Narwhals live in the icy waters of the Arctic Seas. They spend the winter in deep waters beneath the ice and then migrate to shallow, ice free waters in the summer. Narwhals rarely stray from the ice.

Diet

Narwhals have a very restricted and specialized diet. They mainly eat squid, Greenland halibut, shrimp, and arctic cod. They have a mouth that acts as a vacuum to suck up there food. Narwhals feed by swimming towards their prey until it is in close enough range and then use their mouths to suck the predator in.

Threats

Narwhals are threatened mainly by the migrating Killer Whale. However, they are also hunted by the Inuit people for their skin, oil, meat, and tusk. Narwhals conservation status is near threatened because of these two major threats.

Appearance

Narwhals are mainly known for the long ivory tusk on their head, although this tusk only appears on males. Narwhals have small rounded heads, short flippers, and no dorsal fin. The males differ in females mostly in size. The males are bigger reaching up to 16 ft. The color of Narwhals changes with age; the newborns are blueish-gray, juveniles become blueish-black, adults are mottled gray, and old narwhals are completely white.

Reproduction

Female narwhals are able to reproduce after 5 years and males after 8 years. Most narwhals conceive in mid-April and then the calves are born mid-July of the following year. Female narwhals usually give birth every 3 years. The life span of narwhals are expected to be at least 50 years.

Communication

Since narwhals are the most toothed whales, they use sound to navigate and hunt for their food. They create these sounds by having air between chambers near the blow-hole, and reflected off the sloping front of the skull. They create sounds that when heard seems like whistles, clicks, or knocks.
World's Weirdest - Narwhals

By: Macy Brown & Chris Morton