Narwhals – Description

Narwhals are found eastwards from the Canadian Arctic through much of Russia. The populations found here are most abundant. However, the Narwhal is rare in Siberia and Alaska. The Narwhal Whale is one of many Whale species. The species resembles the Beluga Whale in  appearance and is considered a relative of this mammal.
Narwhal Whales have an unusual dentition. The species has two teeth with the roots in the upper jaw. Females’ teeth are almost embedded, which makes them practically toothless. In males, one of the two teeth grows through the upper lip in a form of a tusk. The tusk is long and straight. The Narwhal’s tusk is about 1/3 or more as long as the total body. It can weigh up to 10 kilos.

Sometimes, a Narwhal Whale has two teeth that erupt through the upper lip. In this case, the tusks will be twisted and look like a single unit. Females also may develop one or two tusks. The tusk is partly covered with algae. The remaining part is usually polished in appearance. If the tusk is damaged, it will be restored with new dentine tissue. The function of the tusk in the Narwhal Whale has not been completely understood. It is believed that the tusk serves as a tool in fights between males. However, this has not been proved yet.Narwhals have a mottled abdomen with the ventral sides having more white coloration. Old male Narwhals are usually white with black spotting on the back. A concave tail fluke and a low ridge instead of the spine are peculiar features of Narwhal Whales.