Narluga (Narwhal + Beluga)
This unique creature is the product of a natural pairing between a Narwhal and a Beluga whale, and as the two species share the same number of chromosomes, wild pairings are not only possible, but they’ve also happened before! Though there have been several sightings by Inuit hunters for some time, the Western world first discovered them when a strange skull was found in Disko Bay, Greenland, in 1990.
As both the Beluga and the Narwhal live in the Arctic, researchers think that a pair bred where the skull was discovered, when they both migrated to the region in the winter. Both the Narwhal and the Beluga share an elongated skull, they do have some differences, particularly when it comes to their appearance. The Narwhal has a shorter, narrower beak, than the Beluga, and the male Narwhal has tusks, while the Beluga has teeth.
Narlugas have grey body colourations, a tail like a Narwhal, and Beluga style fins. Analysis of the discovered skull revealed some interesting revelations about the species – Narlugas have teeth which appear similar to the Narwhal’s tusks and wider, longer skulls than their Beluga parent. Chemical analysis of the Narlugas teeth revealed that they eat a different diet from their fish and squid eating parents, who dive to catch their prey – the Narluga prefers to mine the sea depths with its teeth. Scientists don’t yet know whether Narlugas can give birth to any offspring, but here’s hoping they can, so we can all enjoy some more of this super-fascinating breed.