Narwhal: who he is and how he lives





























Monodon monoceros

Common name

: narwhal


  • Body length: 4 - 4.7 m (excluding the horn of about 3 m)
  • Weight: 1000 - 1600 kg
  • Lifespan: 50 years in nature
  • Sexual maturity: female: at 4 m in length and weighing around 900 kg (4-7 years of age); male: at 4.7 m in length and weighing around 1600 kg (4-7 years of age)


The narwhal, scientific name Monodon monoceros together with the beluga it is the second representative of the Monodontidae family. It is the cetacean that lives further north, between 70 ° N and 80 ° N, therefore in the Arctic Ocean, near the polar ice pack from which it rarely moves away.

Narwhals prefer to stay in deep, very salty waters. During the summer period for about two months, they move to the southern bays and fjords where they find deep water. The world's largest population of narwhals lives in the arctic areas of Canada and northwestern Greenland.


The body of the narwhal is whitish in color studded with numerous dark spots on the back and a little lighter on the belly.

The head is relatively small in relation to the rest of the body and does not have the beaked snout, typical of the odontocetes, but flattened.

The peculiarity of this large cetacean is the marked sexual dimorphism: they have only two teeth on the jaw of which only in the male (it is very rare in the female), that of the left arch is continuously growing, forward and with a left-handed spiral trend. enough to take the shape of a horn.

This horn in the narwhal can reach 3 m in length and a weight of 10 kg. It has a smooth appearance in the distal part while for the rest it takes on various colors depending on the type of algae from which it is colonized. It is formed by an outer layer of cement, an innermost layer of dentin and is crossed by numerous cavities in which blood flows. If damaged, the horn is repaired as the dentin is continuously growing. The rest of the teeth grow normally, only a few centimeters. Recent studies have shown that the horn is very rich in sensory receptors that connect, through nerve fibers, to the pulp of the tooth and from this to the brain. This discovery was very important as it highlights that through the horn the narwhal can have information on the salinity of the water (to which it is particularly sensitive), on the temperature and on the pressure (very important as it is one of the cetaceans that goes very deep. ).

The narwhal does not have a dorsal fin but only a small irregular crest of about 5 cm in height.

Considering that they are animals that live in the arctic regions, about a third of their weight is made up of fat.


The narwhal is an animal that lives in groups usually formed by a few individuals, 6 - 20 at the most, which however become thousands during seasonal migrations. The groups are generally uniform by sex and age group: adult males, females with their young, juveniles.

The narwhal is an animal that tends to stay close to the ice pack throughout the year and emerges from the ice through holes or openings to breathe.

They are deep-sea cetaceans, managing to dive beyond 1000 m (the other cetacean that goes so deep is the sperm whale).

The fact that the male is provided with the horn and the female does not, suggests that the males use it in fights for the right to mate: narwhals have in fact been sighted with broken horns or with pieces of horn in the flesh. At the same time, however, narwhals were seen rubbing their horns together without any aggressive attitude. Other scientists hypothesize that the horn could be used to move sediments from the seabed in search of food, a hypothesis not universally accepted because the females do not have it. Therefore, not finding a valid explanation for this very large dental extension, scientists are more in agreement in affirming that it is simply a secondary sexual character, without any practical importance.

All the attempts made to have these animals live in captivity have been a total failure: after 1-4 months they all died. It is thought that perhaps it is due to the fact that the type of structures necessary to accommodate them should be as large as that necessary to accommodate a whale being long, including the horn over 7 m.


The narwhal feeds on fish (cod, salmon, herring), cephalopods (octopus, squid) and crustaceans which it also looks for in deep waters. Since the animal is nearly toothless, it is thought to use suction to catch fish which are then swallowed whole.


In fact, the narwhal is not a particularly studied animal for which the methods of reproduction are not known precisely. It has been seen that to mate both the male and the female are arranged vertically, belly to belly and in that position there is copulation.

Mating takes place between March - May with a pregnancy that lasts about 15 months, therefore the chicks are born between July-August of the following year.

Usually only one puppy is born but twin births are not uncommon. The baby is 1.5 m long at birth and weighs about 80 kg and is darker than the parents.

It is not known exactly how long breastfeeding lasts but it is thought to be similar to that of beluga: 1.5 - 2 years of age.

The interval between births is approximately 3 years


The narwhal, apart from man, does not have many natural enemies: killer whales, more rarely polar bears and occasionally Greenland sharks and walruses.

Another cause of death is represented by ice: it is not uncommon for a narwhal to be trapped in the ice (in English there is a precise term for this situation, "savssat"). This phenomenon was observed in the winter of 1914-1915, when over 1,000 narwhals were found trapped in the ice (it can occur suddenly due to the change in the wind and a sudden drop in temperature).


The narwhal is classified in the IUNC Red list (2009.1) among the animals close to the threat of extinction NEAR THREATENED (NT) having estimated a population of about 80,000 specimens.

The IUNC has assessed the narwhal as close to the threat of extinction, as the intense hunting that is exercised against it from Greenland and Canada is of serious concern, especially due to the lack of reliable data on mortality.

Canada and Greenland hunt these creatures to obtain ivory from the horn and for the meat and fat that form typical dishes, such as mattak (photo on the side). Even if both Cananda and Greenland have quoted the killings, it still seems that these limits are too high (in 2004 they were equal to 300 individuals) not to cause concern worldwide.

At one time the narwhal was heavily hunted by the Inuit populations for its skin, for the fat, for the meat (with which they fed the dogs) and also for the horn, used to make ornamental objects. In medieval times its horn was identified with that of the unicorn and for this reason it was hunted to obtain magical or therapeutic jewelry. Still today, however, it feeds illegal traffic as it is unfortunately sought after by many tourists.

Other threats to their population are posed by climate change that changes their habitat. In fact, the narwhal is among the Arctic mammals the most sensitive to climate changes due to its limited geographical distribution and therefore to its limited habitat and its highly specialized diet.

The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora, known simply as the "Washington Convention") which includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but whose trade must be controlled in order to avoid exploitation incompatible with their survival. It is also listed in Appendix II of the CMS (Convention on Migratory Species).

The European Union has instituted an absolute ban on the import of horns (active since December 2004) throughout the territory of the Union.


By chance, it happened to me, surfing the net, to find sites that provide tourist information about different countries of the world. Under the heading "Cuisine", in relation to the Greenland advertisement, I found the following writings: «The Greenlandic national dish is suaasat, boiled seal meat with rice and onions. Another specialty is mattak, whale skin with a thin layer of fat, eaten raw cut into squares. For our palates, the version of grilled mattak is probably tastier, roasted with a side of browned onions or boiled potatoes (...) ».

I wonder: why are these things emphasized instead of clearly denouncing that these countries offer food for protected and endangered animals and that because of them these biodiversity will surely be lost? Why not say how things are, clearly, and then leave it to everyone's conscience whether or not to eat that meat and whether to continue to include those countries in the itinerary of their holidays?

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Narwhal: who he is and how he lives

I'm sorry, but I use it and it seems to me that it does its job very well, I bought the second version which has been improved a lot compared to the first, then of course, it's not perfect, it's all rubber, so it's heavy to bear, and above all the first few days you can smell the rubber, now, given that most of the iMask reviews on trustpilot are all of this type, I don't understand what you are looking for from a similar product, this mask is the only tool that it still allows you to have a protection similar to a disposable FFP2, but which lasts a month, regarding the effectiveness of the filter I do not express myself as I am not an expert, but I limit myself only to saying that it has been certified by the ministry as a device doctor, and in fact by buying it you can take advantage of the tax exemption for products of this type, while on the criticisms regarding usability I think they are made by people who have not really understood what they have bought, that is a mask thinks ta to last in the long run, so it seems to me quite obvious that it will not be as light and comfortable as a disposable FFP2 / FFP3 jacket, if you do not understand this in my opinion it would be better to avoid releasing certain reviews that put in difficulty those who are preparing to buy, I have no interest in defending iMask, and while recognizing almost all these imperfections that are certainly improvable, I also recognize the merit of iMask, for giving me the possibility of having a daily protection almost comparable to a disposable FFP2 without spend a fortune, since using a disposable FFP2 that would theoretically involve a monthly expense of about 30 Ђ per month, while with iMask with a kit of 5 FFP2 filters I spend 15 Ђ but considering that the duration of a filter is classified in a month with those 15 Ђ I bought the protection for 5 months, doing a quick calculation would be 3Ђ per filter, which is equivalent to 3Ђ / month, do a little bit you, the cheapest kits ch and I found on Amazon 50 pieces (which have an acceptable quantum certification, or at least so it seems) start from prices that are oriented around 35 Ђ, which corresponds to about 0.70 / mask but in fact it is disposable, and then at most you can use it for 24h, trying to do a quick calculation of 1.40 x 30 days the figure of 21 Ђ comes out, then using iMask having more or less the same protection (I repeat more or less, obviously it is not exactly comparable), paying only 3 Ђ, with a monthly saving of 18 Ђ if we then multiply this number by all the members of a family, you will realize that based on the income of each of us the difference can be more or less significant .

And of course, better spread the fear:

Nobody ever talks about us Umbrians.
In reality, Umbria also has the best healings / deaths ratio of the planet but since we are four cats and a dog, no one ever thinks of bringing us a camera.

I don't know about you but to me and to many people I know from a sense of suffocation that with the heat is even more evident and moreover if not properly hygienized they become the first receptacle of viruses and bacteria since they are a filter to our notoriously full breath of symbiotic microorganisms with us.

I fully agree with you, thank you for taking the example of Umbria that I did not know. This demonstrates the dirty play of interests behind Covid, an excellent definition of the "business of the century".

You didn't read everything, that wall fell almost immediately in reality

The level of education matters little when it comes to dialogue, I posted some links, everyone posted links, you posted links, the answer is: I WORK THERE.
Does it matter whether he is an engineer, a street sweeper or a cosmonaut at this point in the discussion?

okay, okay, I'll read them.

I'm not telling you to trust one source over another, you need to evaluate the content! The one of the 2009 ministry pdf is a recommendation and contains many rules, the two articles I sent you specifically talk about the beard speech, why the thing that could endanger you for the virus came up, why it is not true and the methodology used to ascertain this with accompanying articles published. It is not difficult to think that at the time the ministry took this blunder, however the more I talk to you the more I am convinced that the correct use of the same devices in the environment in which you work is different from the correct use to have during the pandemic, a a little like gloves (a comparison not perfectly suited) that maybe you wear them at work so as not to cut yourself or come into direct contact with corrosive substances while for the health discourse, in addition to being quite optional, they are purely disposable and therefore it makes sense that there are different usage rules IMHO

ah so the N95 yes and the FFP2 no, I understand. however more than fair, I have to trust politifact punto com and not the Italian ministry of health

apart from this, it is not yet clear that if FFPX is used outside the workplace or inside it does not change anything, they should be used in the same way and with the same precautions, there is no difference. you need (would need) training even if you use it to go shopping

thirdly, the "legal" standards are "scientifically" tested before becoming "legal", especially for our UNI standards which define the characteristics of filter masks

the 2009 document is obviously absolutely valid, also because it was written specifically for the H1N1 PANDEMIC (yes, because that was a pandemic too, so to speak), and there is everything you need to know about FFPX.

as soon as I have time I read those articles anyway.

I actually believe that I am talking to one of the very few people available for dialogue and who does not have only the usual 5th grade education. Challenging the things you are convinced of is a great way to believe in as few false things and as many true things as possible.
Don't admire me that we don't know each other.

You seriously with a pandemic in progress, take me a 2009 document from the Italian Ministry of Health that had never seen masks in the non-working environment until 4 months ago?
Look what a mess they've made in the US too, where even CNN has re-launched a totally wrong guide to masks that the CDC had made in 2017

And this is a fact checking article

Please read them because the key is in these two pieces!
The problem is that you continue to translate the rules that are good on the construction site and that are rules that potentially protect against other substances and that in any case are legal and unscientific. For the Sars-Cov-2 the beard IS NOT A PROBLEM.

Do you know what I think about this whole thing? I have the impression of being taken for the "C"

The surgical mask is a palliative and is not a device to protect the covid-19. It has been established and confirmed for months. Of course, between that and nothing, the better one.

that's right, the engineer says so

Evidently it was the business of the century for those who benefited from it, evidently.
Any cataclysm, natural or man-made, offers immense opportunities for profit
Covid has offers them of two natures:
The first concerns everything that revolves around the health aspect of the story, the second, even greater, is the fall of the Western economies and the colossus of their financial systems.

I know glee, I went to school weirdly, but I'm not a nerd by any means

There are conflicting opinions, in my opinion absolutely not for purely aerodynamic reasons. However, those who support this in fact recommend the use of FFP2 or FFP3 only if without valve. The mask of the article advertises the fact of having an "anticovid" cap to be applied on the valve in case of need.

The masks are not watertight, quite the contrary. The surgical ones are practically open, the FPPx, on the other hand, are slightly more closed but have a filter from which air enters and exits, practically like when one sleeps under the covers at night. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no reason to think that they hurt, they are just ideas that have no logical basis

breathing your own carbon dioxide is not very good

Like iMask, duration depends on usage. If I use it as a bricklayer, the filter lasts 1 day. None works miracles. Of course, if you use it on the road, the ffp3 also lasts longer

will it be like iMask? the mask invented by a self-styled Sicilian startup, of which most of the users complain of scam? we'll see

So, if I cough or talk can I infect those in front of me?

Let's say that those who do motor activities risk not being able to breathe and that's it. From here to say that it only hurts it takes some.

The drops (droplets) stop and the virus does NOT pass. In the operating room they have been using them for just a few years.

Not in my opinion, it works just like that. It is clear that you don't know much about PPE. UNI EN 149: 2009 can be downloaded for free (if registered) from the UNI store. Try reading it. Ah, the FFP3 are born as masks for powders.

A mask worn for too long in a row only hurts. Moreover if you make a physical effort as a motor and training activity. I keep seeing people running around with masks over their mouths or riding bikes. Even while doing weight lifting. Very bad.

I'll tell you. with the young lady on the cover I would gladly do more than one ride, with or without a mask!

:)) hey little nerd :))) you want to know something that draws on reality. do you know that inside and out you are made up of billions of bacteria, fungi and viruses . if you don't know, know it XD
it is not nice to call illiterates to those who do not know or are afraid. it's not their fault mainly

As a worker who has been using it for a year up to 8 hours a day what should I say, and surely there are those who have been using it for longer than me, respiratory problems arise with excessive physical activity, such as running or anaerobic activity, or in the case of obvious respiratory problems in that case it is better to use the mask only when absolutely necessary and to use one that perspires as much as possible.

Instead, it is relevant because if the air passes, the viruses also pass (in and out). It is not that viruses dematerialize or pass through walls. In any case, we were talking about protecting others, therefore of OUTPUT air: if it blows and passes, rest assured that the covid (which is 10 nm large) passes.

"the filters can be replaced and they last an average of 1 month"

The consumption of the filters depends on the hours of use (and on the quality of the air they have to filter). Probably (I have not found info but I think so) this time frame is assumed using them 8 hours a day. Using them 40 minutes a day, it could even last a year. Anyway, a bit like printer cartridges, sold a number of templates, the real deal will be on the sale of spare parts.

On the last one I disagree. I bring only whoever I want (friends, people I respect, etc.), all the others ... at least one meter away (especially pain in the ass and stupid people) even before the covid. The distancing is necessary in life, otherwise it becomes an orgy where everyone touches you "and in which you find yourself inept who bar your way and your view (poi, de gustobus.)

I admire your tenacity in responding to asses that bray thinking you have the truth in your pocket. I think it's time to step aside, HDBlog users are more capable than you in your trade, apparently)

Don't waste any more time, you've already wasted enough time with people who don't want to hear reasons.

Feel what you like. passed the covid problem who would need an FFP (n) mask if not allergic people like me?

You're right, but unfortunately we don't have them in industrial quantities, like surgical masks

not so much, you debunked my example with "an infected subject transmits SarS-Cov-2 to 2 or 3 people on average."

but who ever said that surgery doesn't protect you from anything.

I wear them often. they protect and how (the others)

mine was an extreme example to just say that FFP2 are to be preferred, but at the same time it is not so easy to use them correctly

that he is in moderation seems obvious to me since you have invoked the name of our lord.

ah for you. and think for me lol

Nah, by now the mister (miss) sotuttoioenoneadquellochedic becausec'horeasonio have tired me, I check them and end.
There is no point in discussing it but I admire you

* second line in brackets, Rx and Gallera speech totally irrelevant for the purposes of what we are talking about.

Buh in moderation for some reason
https: //uploads.disquscdn.c.

This attitude is counterproductive

eh but forgive me. if it is "elementary that it is so" is it not equally elementary that prolonged use under a certain effort, breathing less air and therefore less oxygen, will inevitably lead to consequences?

I don't understand what you mean by "mechanically it's not risky". do you intend to stand still all day with the mask on? in this case it could also be but it is not the subject of the speech.

but other than that, what's the congestion thing? explains a bit why the whole thing intrigues me lol

1) it is ALWAYS possible that I am wrong, indeed, it is more times that I am wrong.

2) I believe that we are talking about different situations, I am absolutely certain that the use of filter masks during prolonged physical activities and / or at a certain level of effort is harmful and that therefore we must take breaks, and they are not completely certain that the studies done (without investigating their reliability) concern these cases (I don't have time to read them all lol)

aoh, you are Engineering (with a capital I) but haven't read the published studies so far?
sneezes in the face at 100 and infects 100
But I miss my grandfather in a wheelbarrow

aoh, but don't you get there? She's right
She is an engineer, she works on construction sites, she has the bricklayer with the belly who is under the sun and she has the turning of the head and only kor the maskerina happens

Did he tell you that you need a course to explain maskerine?
It also takes the course to understand how much he knows about everything.
Why oh
(on construction sites)
THE COURSE HAS DONE (online with the crosses aoh)

That of the beard is another well-known buffalo. Search on google curse! It is terribly frustrating.

According to the manufacturers of FFP3, the difference in scope between wearing this type of mask or not is 5%. I, who am a smoker, for example, can have a lung capacity reduced by up to 60%. The body tells you when you are in debt for oxygen and it is not the solution to remove the mask, but to stop straining because you can't.
You continue to use puppet arguments by putting things in my mouth that I have never written: never written that the air flow is the same whether you wear a mask or not, it is elementary that it is so, I am disputing that this is a reasonable problem to ask yourself.
The fact that courses are held on something does not tell me anything, the courses are held to know when to put them (toxic fumes, particulates etc).
One of the problems with masks is that they can cause claustrophobic attacks and actually cause breathing problems, but mechanically it is not risky to wear them. The astronauts live for months consecutively in the International space station where the concentration of O2 is lower than that of the earth, the same goes for those who live in the mountains where the air is notoriously thinner as you go up.
Finally, I am not telling you to drink all the studies but to verify by what method certain things have been established. I have believed for most of my life that post-meal congestion existed, when I investigated it I found it to be nonsense but I was sincerely convinced with no evidence. In particular, I once witnessed the death of an elderly gentleman at the seaside that everyone immediately attributed to the congestion and the security around me was so high that I never questioned that notion anymore.
If you still want to answer, last two questions: is it possible that you are wrong? Is it desirable that until you have certain confirmations, and not based on anecdotes, you suspend the judgment?

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  • First name: Sofia Costanza Brigida
  • Surname: Villani Scicolone
  • Date of birth: September 20, 1934
  • Birth place: Rome Italy
  • Instagram profile: Sophia Loren does not have an official Instagram account
  • Zodiac sign: Virgin

Although it is not nice to say the age of a lady, as important as Sophia Loren then, we do not exempt ourselves from the arithmetic count of her date of birth: the actress is now 86 years old. He was 29 at the height of his beauty, shown in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Marcello Mastroianni. She was only 15 when she won the first beauty contest, and 16 when she became Miss Elegance at Miss Italia 1950. The film debuts came between the ages of 17 and 18, the success of the role of the pizza chef in L'oro di Napoli when she was 20. .

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