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