For 3 years, the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) have been tracking and researching a strange bond in the ocean. They believed that a group of young Beluga whales had adopted a narwhal – after 3 years, the team can confirm that the adopted narwhal is here to stay!
The narwal appears to have gotten lost after wandering into Canada’s St. Lawrence River. GREMM President and Scientific Director Robert Michaud said “It behaves like it was one of the boys. They are in constant contact with each other.”
Narwhals are sometimes referred to as “the unicorns of the sea” for their tusks that can grow up to 8ft long. The sea creature normally lives hundreds of miles away in the arctic but managed to stray and find the Beluga whales in the Canadian river.
Using a drone, GREMM has been monitoring the group and they’ve noticed the whales traveling and playing together. The two species have close genetic similarities but Michaud says there are substantial differences in the species such as habitat preferences and feeding habits.
The adopted narwhal found company in the kind beluga’s that welcomed it to the pack
But after studying the creatures, the team learned that the adopted narwhal started showing signs of behavioral adaptation. The adopted narwhal has started blowing bubbles near the surface of the water like its new Beluga family.
Both whale species are very social creatures but that can sometimes be a problem. It’s been known for narwhals to get injured by trying to befriend humans and boats.
It’s so nice to see this creature being taken in and cared for. The beluga whales treated the narwhal as if it were one of their own. Harvard researcher Martin Nweeia stated:
I think it shows … the compassion and the openness of other species to welcome another member that may not look or act the same. And maybe that’s a good lesson for everyone.
Don’t forget to watch this adopted narwhal join a family of Beluga whales in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section. 🐝