Narwhal Species Stock Video Footage


Narwhals are medium-sized whales, and are around the same size as beluga whales. Total length in both sexes, excluding the tusk of the male, can range from 3.95 to 5.5 m (13 to 18 ft). Males, at an average length of 4.1 m (13.5 ft), are slightly larger than females, with an average length of 3.5 m (11.5 ft). Typical adult body weight ranges from 800 to 1,600 kg (1,760 to 3,530 lb). Male narwhals attain sexual maturity at 11 to 13 years of age, when they are about 3.9 m (12.8 ft) long. Females become sexually mature at a younger age, between 5 and 8 years old, when they are around 3.4 m (11.2 ft) long. The pigmentation of narwhals is a mottled pattern, with blackish-brown markings over a white background. They are darkest when born and become whiter with age white patches develop on the navel and genital slit at sexual maturity. Old males may be almost pure white. Narwhals do not have a dorsal fin, possibly an evolutionary adaptation to swimming easily under ice. Their neck vertebrae are jointed, like those of land mammals, instead of being fused together as in most whales. Both these characteristics are shared by the beluga whale. The tail flukes of female narwhals have front edges that are swept back, and those of males have front edges that are more concave and lack a sweep-back. This is thought to be an adaptation for reducing drag caused by the tusk. The most conspicuous characteristic of the mal... Learn more about Narwhal

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