Narwhals - The Unicorns of the Sea

Narwhal Day - April 10th

Narwhals are also referred to as the unicorns of the sea. They reside in the Arctic, swimming in the coastal waters and rivers and can live for over 100 years.

What do we know about narwhals?

These almost mythical creatures are very hard to study due to where they like to live and also because they are super shy! In the few instances that rescue/captivity have been attempted, the narwhals have unfortunately not survived in captivity.

Scientists at WWF have been more successful in studying the animals in the wild through satellite tracking.

They have learnt that narwhals primarily eat fish, squid and shrimp.

As narwhals age they change color, like many other marine animals. The newborns are a blue/gray, which goes into black and blue in the young into gray in adulthood and the old narwhals are nearly completely white!

Read more about narwhals on

A narwhal can range from 13 to 20 feet in size and weight about 1.5 tons! Their tusks can grow up to 8.8 feet long.

Like other porpoises the narwhal likes to travel in a group, typically of around 15 to 20 in a group but they have been spotted in their hundreds.

The Tusk 

The tusk of a narwhal is actually an enlarged tooth! Tusks are more common with male narwhals than females, and some even have two. 

"During the Middle Ages, and even earlier, narwhal tusk was sold in Europe and the Far East as unicorn horn. Physicians believed that powdered unicorn horn could cure ills from plague to rabies and even raise the dead." 

For more information about these amazing creatures be sure to check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine.

In 2017 narwhals were captured on video using their tusks for feeding! See the video below:

A little gift for Narwhal Day

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