The Narwhal does not spend a lot of time at the surface of the water while it is feeding, but does stay active at the surface when it is migrating. It swims relatively fast during migration, but tends to mill around when hunting. Rest periods can last for up to 10 minutes, during which time the Narwhal will stick close to the surface, perhaps even exposing its dorsal hump.
Narwhals love to spyhop, lobtail and flipper-slap on the surface of the ocean. This provides fabulous displays to human onlookers that are privileged enough to witness them.
They may travel on their own or in groups of up to 25 individuals. Incredibly, pods have been found to include hundreds, even thousands, of individuals at a time. While this is rare, it is a sight that will never be forgotten.
Adults reach between 3.8 and five metres in length (equivalent to around 12.5 to 16.5 feet) and weigh up to 1.6 tonnes.
Where to Find Them
Narwhals live in the Arctic region and are actually recognised for inhabiting one of the most northerly regions of any known cetacean. There are high numbers of Narwhals in the Davis Straight and the Greenland Sea. Their patterns of migration are determined largely by the movement of the ice, which can advance and retreat depending on the weather conditions.
Narwhals are toothed whales despite the fact that, other than their tusk, they only have one tooth. Therefore, they live on fish, squid and crustaceans that they hunt and capture.
As human presence continues to spread and the world becomes smaller and smaller due to the increased accessibility of all regions, even these animals are subject to threats from human beings. Hunting and pollution as well as the presence of boats within their natural territory are all major threats to Narwhals.