Narwhals: Not Just Mythical Underwater Unicorns

Narwhals: Not Just Mythical Underwater Unicorns

 Narwhals seem to be appearing everywhere on gift wrap, coffee mugs, and on social media, but what looks to be a fantastic creature is actually alive and swimming the Arctic Ocean.

Many people may not know Narwhals are a mix of Bottlenose Dolphins, Belugas, Harbor Porpoises, and Killer Wales. Narwhals are considered “the unicorn of the sea” as  they have a tooth that grows over the left side of the jaw and turns into a tusk that can reach a length of 8.8 feet (2.7 meters), according to National Geographic.

Narwhals also love to prey on fish, crabs, squid, and other small living creatures in the ocean. Narwhals spend their whole life in the Arctic waters in Russia, Greenland, and North America and  stay in the Arctic ocean so they can find more food and other Narwhals with which to mate, according to NOAA Fishers.

Narwhals live 30-40 years but can live up to 50 if they have a healthy life.  Polar Bears , Killer Wales, Sharks, and sometimes humans are the most frequent predators of this unique mammal with  45,000-50,000 narwhals left in the world, according to

Narwhals usually mate around spring during March or May, usually giving birth around June. They fight other narwhals for their mate, using theirs tusks to battle others. They also use their tusks to mate with the female. They wave their tusks to draw the female in or the female will choose the winner of the fight according to

So the next time you see a Narwal pictured on your gift wrap or calendar, you can now appreciate that they are more than just another cute and interesting advertising trend.