The Unicorn of the Sea

The narwhal is a medium-sized, toothed whale that possesses a large "tusk" from a protruding canine tooth. It lives in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. It is one of the two living whales in the Monodontidae family, the other being the Beluga whale.

The name "narwhal" is derived from the Old Norse word nar meaning corpse. This is because the of the greyish, mottled pigmentaion (like that of a drowned sailor) and its summer-time habit of lying still near the surface of the water.

Like the beluga whale narwhals are medium sized whales. Both sexes', minus the male's tusk, body size ranges from 13-18 ft long. The average weight of the adult narwhal is 1800-3500 pounds.

Found mostly in the Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic and Russian waters. It is a one of the kind predator. In winter, it feeds on prey at the bottom of the ocean, mostly flatfish, under the ice. During the summer, narwhals eat Arctic cod, Greendland halibut, and other fishes such as polar cod. Each year, they migrate from bays to the ocean as summer comes. In the winter the males narwhals dive up to 4900 ft, for about 25 minutes.

Narwhals can lve up to 50 years, but are often killed by suffocation when the sea ice freezes over. Another cause of death is starvation, this is mostly in the young. The Inuit have also been hunting narwhals for thousands of years for meat and ivory. The current population of the narwhals is about 75000, this qualifies them as a Near Threatened species.