New footage shows narwhals use their tusks to hunt and stun fish
In a surprising new finding, scientists recorded narwhals using their horns to hit and stun fish before eating them. Scientists already knew that narwhal horns are full of nerves and are not used for fighting purposes. But the video reveals a here to now unknown narwhal behavior.
Long known as the “unicorn of the sea” for its long spiraled tusk, which can grow up to 10 ft long, Narwhals live in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Unlike some whale species, they do not migrate. They move easily beneath the frozen ice and seek out cracks in the ice to breathe. Narwhals don’t have teeth inside their mouths. They are suction feeders who swallow their prey – like Greenland halibut, Arctic and polar cod, squid and shrimp – whole.
Canada is home to 80,000 narwhals (about three-quarters of the total global population). There, in Baffin Bay, WWF scientists learn more about narwhal movements through satellite tracking in order to track their paths for feeding and breeding and to better understand the species.