Narwhals Use the Most Precise Signals to Search for Open Water

10.11.2016

Experts from Germany have found that echolocation, which helps narwhal to navigate in space, has very clear direction. Only the relatives of these animals – Beluga whales – possess comparable abilities.

Narwhals Use the Most Precise Signals to Search for Open Water

In the study, experts recorded narwhals songs at a depth of between three and 18 meters in Baffin Bay in the Arctic Ocean. It turned out that their ultrasonic signals have extremely accurate orientation, i.e. have a very low width of the sound beam. This allows the narwhal to effectively find the sites of open water for breathing, which is very important, because the habitat of these animals has the surface 98 percent covered by ice.

Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) has a status similar to a vulnerable position, their fate depends largely on the climate change on Earth.