Mammals - General Information

Terrestrial Mammals

The terrestrial mammals covered here are the Arctic Fox, the Polar Bear, the Caribou, the Muskox and the Grizzly Bear.

Seals and Walrus

The Inuktitut name for seals is Nattiit. The Walrus is called Aiviq.

Most seals bear their young in the spring on the sea ice or in birth lairs in snow covering the ice. They often haul out onto the ice to moult their fur in late spring, and then migrate to summer feeding grounds.

All of the seals in the Canadian Arctic are earless seals.

The seals covered here are the Bearded Seal, the Harbour Seal, the Harp Seal, the Hooded Seal and the Ringed Seal. The Walrus is also covered.


Whale Groups

Baleen Whales

A baleen whale is a whale that, rather than having teeth for eating, has plates of fingernail-like material hanging down from the upper jaw that are used to strain small animals from the water. The Inuktitut name for baleen whales is Qilalugat surgaliit. A whale of unspecified type is called Qilalugat, the name for the White Whale. Baleen whales include the Bowhead Whale and the Hump-backed Whale. Other baleen whales are the Fin Whale, Minke Whale and Sei Whale.

Toothed Whales

The Inuktitut name for toothed whales is Qilalugat kiguliliit. This group includes the Narwhal, the North Atlantic Bottle-nosed Whale, the Sperm Whale and the Beluga Whale (or White Whale). Another toothed whale is the Killer Whale (called the Aarluk in Inuktitut).

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