Beluga whales are already loveable animals but after reading this you will love them even more.
It was recently discovered that a group of them has adopted a solitary narwhal as part of the family or at least as a close friend. This is curious and makes us think about the relationships between marine animals - definitely something that deserves further study. This curious group was discovered in Canada's St. Lawrence River.
The curious narwhal-beluga relationship was first observed during the aerial filming conducted by the Group For Research And Education On Marine Mammals (GREMM). But this is not the first time they observed this narwhal. Since 2016 they are living with the belugas, making this real adoption into their group.
This is what the report says:
After completing the classification and identification process with photos of a group of 50 to 60 belugas, we launched the drone. After a few minutes in the air, a group of belugas surfaced. To our surprise, the narwhal was among them! After an initial excitement with the discovery, our first question was: is it the same individual we observed in 2016 and 2017?
The narwhal who lives with belugas
And that turned out to be the case. After some photographs and comparisons between existing videos they discovered that the same narwhal lived with that group for more than two years, which is really cool.
But although it is adorable that they live together, we must remember that both narwhals and belugas belong to the same family, the Monodontidae. The nomadic behavior of this narwhal may have to do with the climate change that affects the Arctic. It is possible that in future times we will see more animals of similar types uniting to survive, and moving to other areas for more optimal temperatures. This narwhal is a thousand kilometers away from where they are normally seen.
Similar things have already been observed in land animals, such as the grizzly bear and the polar bear - the two species have even mated and had cubs together. It would be rare to see a mixture of narwhal and beluga but researchers say that it isn't impossible.