Unicorn’s of the Sea, Narwhal Facts for Kids

Narwhal Facts for Kids

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  • Narwhals are a marine whale and belong to the cetacean family, which include all species of whale, dolphin and porpoise.
  • Narwhals are mammals and breathe air to survive.
  • They can stay underwater for up to 25 minutes before coming up for air.
  • Narwhals live in Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia.
  • There scientific name is Monodon Monoceros which means one-tooth, one horn.
  • They are nicknamed the unicorn of the sea due to their long tusks.
  • Did you know that their “tusks” aren’t horns or tusks at all?  It is a long-left tooth, that can grow up to 10 ft long and weigh 22 pounds.
  • Male and females can have tusks, but they are found mostly in men.
  • Some narwhal’s do not have any tusks at all and some males on rare occasions have grown two.
  • Scientists are still not quite sure what this “tusk” is used for.  Some believe that it may be used during mating, others believe it is used to fight off rival narwhals and some believe that it is used to detect changes in water temperature.
  • Narwhals eat squid, shrimp, halibut and other fish.
  • They eat more in the winter to store a lot of food, they eat significantly less in the summer months.
  • They often stay close to the water’s surface but can dive down 5,000 ft.
  • They live in groups of 10-100 narwhals.
  • They are social and communicate with each other using a variety of sounds and clicks.
  • Baby narwhals are called calves.  Calves are born around 5ft long.
  • Babies are darker in color and lighten as they age.
  • Adult narwhals can be 12-20ft long and weigh 3,500 pounds.
  • Predators include polar bears, orca and whales.
  • Climate change is also a threat.