The narwhal is a whale most commonly found in the Arctic waters surrounding Greenland, Canada, Norway and Russia. They are often called "the unicorn of the sea" as they have a long, spiraled tusk protruding from their head. Males often have tusks, and rarely some will sport two. This tusk, which can end up growing as long as ten feet, is actually a very enlarged tooth. Ongoing research suggests that the tusk has sensory capabilities, having up to 10 million nerve endings on the inside. The tusk may also play a role in displaying male dominance.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Although most narwhals have only one horn, around one in 500 males will have two.
- Unlike other toothed whales, the narwhal's tusk is the only tooth that it grows.
- Although narwhals generally stay in groups of 20 or less, groups may gather together in the summer and form large aggregations of narwhals - numbering 500 to 1,000 and up.