Narwhal Facts - Cliches & Curiosities - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

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Narwhal Facts – Cliches & Curiosities

January 11th, 2016 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

A pair of narwhal surface

Narwhal Facts - The Cliche

Google it. You'll see the number one cliche about narwhal is that they are "the unicorn of the sea." This Arctic whale - has never been successfully kept in captivity. You must visit their habitat to see them.

Narwhal Facts - The Science

Qilalugaq tugaalik is the Inuktituk name for narwhal. Scientists refer to them as monodon monoceros. Females give birth to a single calf that they have carried for up to 16 months, and nurse their calf for over a year. Mating occurs between March and May. They are social mammals, travelling in pods of 10 to 100. Although seeing a pod of 100 is a rare sight, we have witnessed it at our camp near Pond Inlet.

Narwhal Facts - That single tusk may be a sensory device

The tusk is actually a tooth, which is the reason that narwhal are classified as toothed-whales. The World Wildlife Fund research collaborators have discovered that the spiral tooth may have as many as 10 million nerve endings inside. Narwhal Facts: Can narwhal have more than one tusk? Though rare, yes, some narwhal grow a pair of tusks.

More Narwhal Facts

  • The world population of narwhal is between 40 and 50 thousand
  • The majority winter under the ice in the Davis Strait or Baffin Bay region
  • Narwhal feed on Greenland halibut, shrimp, squid and other fish

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