Narwhals : Unicorns of the Sea
Woah the Arctic is really cold! But its gonna be worth it to see one of these rare creatures called Narwhals. Often dubbed the unicorns of the sea, narwhals are strange and beautiful creatures with long tusks protruding from their heads.
How big is a Narwhal?
They can weigh up to 4,200 pounds and they grow between 4 and 6 m (12-20 ft.) in length – a similar size to their relative, the beluga whale.
Physical Features of Narwhals
But they are easily distinguished from their beluga kin. Male narwhals possess a great spiraled tooth that projects from their heads. The long, hornlike tooth can reach up to 3 m (10 ft.) in length and grows continually to replace wear. Researchers are unsure of the exact purpose of the tooth. Some believe it serves as an attractive ornament for mating, while others believe it is used as a weapon to fight rivals. One researcher concluded that the tooth has the ability to detect changes in water temperature and pressure. They can weigh up to 4,200 pounds and grow as long as 17 feet in length.
Its name is derived from the Old Norse word nár, meaning “corpse”, in reference to the animal’s greyish, mottled pigmentation, like that of a drowned sailor.
What color are Narwhals?
Narwhals can change their colour as they age. Newborns are a blue-gray, juveniles are blue-black and adults are a mottled gray. Old narwhals are nearly all white.
Sadly with only 80,000 Narwhals left, they qualify as a ‘Near threatened’ species.
How deep do Narwhals dive?
The male narwhals occasionally dive up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) in depth, with dives lasting up to 25 minutes.
More amazing Narwhal Whale Facts here.