Arctic Animal #9: Narwhal
When explorers first started visiting the Arctic, they came across a creature that was so bizarre in appearance that it became the stuff of legends. The narwhal is a species of toothed whale which has a tusk protruding from its head that can measure around 18 feet in length. The tusk is actually an elongated canine and is used for hunting prey and for navigation as it is packed with sensory organs.
Narwhals live in groups of up to 20 individuals, although these will come together to form much larger groups in the summertime. Stories of these animals often involve myth and magic, with their horns in particular considered by some to have magic powers. This means that the tusks can reach high prices, encouraging the hunting of them. They are hunted by the Inuit people for their meat and ivory but despite this, they are currently listed as a species of least concern.