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The first-ever footage of Narwhals using their tusks for feeding

Learn more about narwhals.


For the first time, Canadian scientists working in the Arctic have evidence showing that Narwhals use their tusk for feeding.

Steve Ferguson

With this observation the field crew was able to see the male Narwhals approaching a school of arctic cod, and kind of tracking the cod with the tusk, which is anterior to their left pre-molar coming out of their mouth.

And as the cod was positioned close to the tip of the tusk, the Narwhal sort of gave it a quick hard tap that likely stunned the fish ñ it looked like it was momentarily not moving - and then the Narwhal would move in with its mouth and suck in the prey.

Bob Hodgins

What was interesting was using the drone, because from my perspective as a marine biologist, the use of drones is pretty unique because it gives us a bird’s eye view that’s close enough to the animals that it doesn’t disturb them at all but at the same time it gives us a close enough image to give us these kinds of details of how the animals are feeding and how they’re behaving, so it’s a really new perspective.

Marianne Marcoux

They seem very agile with their tusks; when you watch the video, they can flip the fish in very agile ways, so what is very exciting to me is what else can they do with their tusk?

Jack Orr

I’ve been with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for about 35 years now, going on 36, and my main job is to conduct field camps in the Arctic to collect scientific information

Every time in camp when something new happens, something exciting, it goes through the camp like a wave of joy, excitement, accomplishment People are proud that they’ve succeeded at their goal.

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