Narwhals

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by Iluong
Last updated 6 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Animals

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Narwhals

The narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that are found mostly in the Atlantic and Russian waters of the arctic. (north between Canada and Greenland Arctic.) They're known to travel and immigrate around Greenland to eastern Russia as well.

The narwhal only has one symbiosis relationship and the symbolism is commensalism. It is commensalism because when a barnacle attaches itself to a narwhal, it doesn’t affect of harm the narwhal in the process of doing so. (barnacles depends on them)

When Narwhals eat, they create a sort-of vacuum and suck up their food. Their diet consists mainly of squid, fish and shrimp. But they prey on Arctic fish species too, such as Greenland halibut, Arctic Cod, Polar Cod, rockfish, flounder, and crab. (making them carnivores and also autotroph and consumers)

They are on top of the food chain (middle rank in food web), providing food for polar bears and orcas. (killer whales) The population of narwhals are decreasing because of the Inuit people, who hunt for food and tusk ivory. Tusks are valuable in the market as curiosities and for craving. Narwhals are actually rarely the target of hunting, but they have been targeted in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. And they continue to be hunted now.

NARWHALS

(Monodon monoceros) BY: Ivy Luong

"Unicorn of the Ocean"

THE TUSK PLAYS NO ROLE IN THE EATING PROCESS OR HOW THEY CAPTURE THEIR BAIT.

Now, the Narwhal population density is around 45,000-50,000 individuals.

NARWHALS HAVE BEEN ENLISTED INTO THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST SINCE 2008

These unicorn-like whales live in acrtic biomes and, of course, like the cold weather, and prefer air temperatures that range from about -40 to +32 degrees F, and winter temperatures of below -58 degrees F. That goes for in waters as well.

The Narwhal's gestation period is 10-16 months. Also, unlike adults who are blue-gray with whitish spots, the calves are brown and have no spots Calves are nursed for about 4 months after birth.

During the mating process, it is true that the narwhal tusk is thought to play a strong role in the mating activity. The tusk is known to somehow have a growth-spurt at sexual maturity in males. This just tells us that there could be a possible breeding function tied into the narwhal tusk.

Firstly, vessels that support oil and gas development lends to the increase of shipping in areas. And more shipping means more noise, which goes OVER the communications, that Arctic marine species are trying to make. And since whales depends on sound to communicate, everything would be out of placed if any noise (pollution) rang, that could affect their ability to locate mates, find food, navigate, take care of their young, and avoid predators.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the plan that’s regulating whaling and addressing the threats to whales, dolphins and porpoises in our ocean like shipping, climate change, and bycatch. In the process of doing this, WWF is trying to push the IWC into reducing these threats. It was heard that WWF partnered with Natural Resource Defense Council and Ocean Conservation Research to raise awareness as well. In the help of marine animals like the beluga and shares the same story as the other marine species who depend on sound for a living and their disabilities of the underwater noise pollution.

Mating season is fromMarch to May and females can only have one calf and give birth every 3 years or so. Interestingly, they can nurse their calves for over a year.

Family: MonodontidaeGenus: MonodonSpecies: monoceros


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