The Narwhal

The Narwhal - 2


Narwhal is part of the Monodontidae family, the Cetacea order. It is a marine animal that lives all year round in the Arctic Ocean.

The first time was seen in the waters of northern Canada and Greenland. It can be found in the Arctic and Subarctic waters near the glaciers in these areas and in northern Russia. He is the only representative of his family.

Narwhal was called the qilalugat trapped by the former Arctic inhabitants. They appreciated it more than the morass and seals because whoever managed to capture a copy could feed the tribe for a few weeks. At first it was believed that the narcissus had a horn on the head and was told “the unicorn of the great ones”. Later it turned out to be a tooth.

Leaving aside their unique appearance, Narwhal was said to be the model of the famous unicorn so evoked in the Middle Ages.

Although it is related to whales, it does not look very much like them. It’s a tooth cetacean (odontocet), but it does not resemble the dolphins or whales we know because it’s different, it’s unique.

The stories and myths about narwhals that were blasted by the English zoologist Ole Wurm in 1683 who published the existence of narwhals. The Monodon monoceros scientific name means “a tooth, a horn” and refers to the two-meter long ornament.

The narwhal situation is very delicate. Mortality increases due to climate change and pollution. The sad part is that they do not survive in captivity. The number of copies is 10,000 – 20,000 copies in freedom, or 75,000 copies after other documentation.

However, the number is small compared to the specimens that should populate the ocean. As far as I understand the Canadian and Norwegian Governments, they still allow the hunting of these animals.

In the literature, it can be seen as narwhal or narwhale.

Narwhal’s Food

The narwhal food is very varied. We can say they have a very varied water menu.

They spoil hunger with shrimp, fish that swim in jokes, cephalopods, Arctic cod (Arctogadus glacialis), or bigger fish such as boulders.

In their stomach they found stones that are believed to have swallowed accidentally when feeding on fish.

One of the supposed feeding methods is the proximity to prey enough that it can be sucked into the mouth.

Narwhal’s Aspect

Narwhals have a maximum length of 5 meters and a weight of 1.5 – 1.8 tons. Females are smaller than males, they do not exceed 4 meters and one tonne weight.

Sexual dimorphism can be established easily, not because of physical resemblance but of the fact that only male have the none tooth. There is a chance that one of 500 narwhals has two teeth. The tooth is located on the upper jaw and is twisted as a drill.

Due to the long tooth a series of medieval legends of the unicorn were born. The tooth can reach a length of 2m, it is bone, and weighs around 10kg. For males, the bony tooth can have sexual meanings. It is used to impose itself in front of other narwhals, but also as a weapon. Only males have tooth so long, females are much smaller.

For the Eskimos  a narwhal is highly appreciated. Eat everything, do not throw anything. Skin and fat eat raw and are considered delicacies.

The bones are used for making art objects. The Eskimos of Western Groenlana still hunt narwhals. The luck of the narwhal is that in the areas where it lives it is hardly enough, otherwise it would probably be a missing species. From his tooth, people did, besides decorative objects or objects for various rituals and various weapons like harpoons or spears.

Their immense appearance with a “horn in the forehead” has made many believe it is a ferocious animal. The name from the old Norwegian means “corpse”. They were wrong. Narvalii, despite their appearances and size, are withdrawn and shy.

Narwhal’s Behavior

They live in groups of up to ten individuals. Groups are formed by age and gender. Males can be seen very easily as they struggle at the surface of the water after their long tooth.

Many believe that the tooth or the horn, as it is called by some, is the pride of the animal, such as the lion’s heel or the tail of the peacock, because it is not used at all to fight or to break the boot. Maybe it is not caught very well at the base and it can break, or it can hurt it and it uses it in extreme situations.

Although the tooth is considered a lethal weapon, narwhals prefer to sink deeply to escape the attack of killer whales or polar bears. They are the only predators of the narrative. The polar bear poses the problem of getting into the prey, if it comes close enough the narwhal is a light prey.

Narwhal’s Reproduction

Reproduction and births take place in the spring when food is abundant. During the warm period when groups gather, the males establish their hierarchies. It is said about being a quiet and peaceful animal. Even if he sets up his hierarchies and struggles for supremacy, he does it in a quiet way, pointing to his capillary adornment.

It is said that the length of the tooth is correlated with the potency of the narwhals. The longer the teeth, the stronger they are. Males use their appearance to attract partners. The woman reaches sexual maturity at the age of 5. It does not form durable pairs, so each reproduction may have another partner.

After the breeding period, the females give birth in the spring of April to May to one puppy. Each female gives birth every 2-3 years. The gestation period lasts 14 months. At birth the chickens have a dark color, but with aging the skin opens.

After birth, the baby is followed by his mother for a while, during which he is fed with fatty milk he needs in northern waters. The baby is measuring 1.6 meters in height and is dark gray.

The life expectancy of narwhal is 50 years.

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