Narwhals

A.S.

Description

Narwhals are mammals. They have a layer of skin and a thicker layer of blubber beneath it. The skin is bluish gray with white blotches, although young narwhals are brown. Young narwhals are 5 feet long and can weigh 175 to 220 pounds. Adult male narwhals can grow up to be about 16 feet and weigh about 1.8 tons. Females are slightly smaller, about 13 feet, and weigh 1 ton. Narwhals communicate by making squeaks, clicks, and whistles. One of its most unusual characteristics is that the narwhal's more prominent tooth grows into a swordlike, spiral tusk up to 8.8 feet tall. It grows right through the narwhal's upper tooth. Females sometimes grow a tusk of their own, but is not as prominent as the male's. Some have an especially rare feature where they have two tusks, each tooth spiraling out.

Food Chain & Habitat

It's food source is the Arctic Ocean where they're most usually found. They find their food near the sea floor. Narwhals are carnivores because they always eat meat. Plus their teeth are built for eating other animals as they capture prey with their tusk. They are predators and eat fish, squids, shrimp, and other marine animals, although they are sometimes hunted by polar bears and orcas. Most narwhals are usually located at the north in the Arctic Ocean, though a few have been found in the south. They're found deep undersea. The climate they live in is icy cold, being in the north, and is also arid and polar. Narwhals like to stay deep underwater where it's colder.

Adaptation

An adaptation that the narwhals have is that they have a very thick layer of blubber beneath the skin to keep it's heat inside to stay warm in the cold waters. They use their tusk to hear sonar sounds that other animals emit. They can then either go after those sonar waves to find the prey, or go to shallow waters to avoid the sonar waves of animals like killer whales. The orca's echo location gets all mixed up in shallow water, so they can't find the narwhals. Narwhals generally move slowly, but are known to be remarkably quick when chased by predators. They prefer to stay near the surface of the ocean, but can dive up to 5,000 feet. Narwhals are migratory and move closer to the shore in the summer, while moving out to sea and living under packed ice in the winter months. They usually travel in pods of somewhere between 4-20, but sometimes they have pods of 100. They usually hunt in packs to capture a lot of prey.

Reasons for Endangerment & Critical Information

Narwhals are illegally hunted by Inuit hunters and are killed by orcas, polar bears, sharks, and walruses. The Inuit hunters hunt narwhals for their long tusks and skin, and important source of Vitamin C in the traditional Arctic diet. In addition, the narwhal’s habitat is threatened by the effects of climate change and pollution. Their small population size, limited range, and reliance on Arctic fish that are also being affected by climate-induced available food changes, make them extremely vulnerable. One recent study concluded that the narwhal might be even more sensitive to the impacts of climate change than the polar bear. You can save the narwhal by not hunting them and protecting their environment. Hunting narwhals is banned and Inuit hunters are kept a watch on so they won't kill them. The climate change can be helped by all of us if we prevent global warming by using less fossil fuels which go into the atmosphere and make Earth warmer. Together, we all can help the narwhals.
Narwhals clean