Agriculture
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Amphibians
Newts
Bullfrogs
Tree Frogs
Animals
From Chimps to People
Thieves of a Feather
A Seabird's Endless Summer
Behavior
Brain cells take a break
The Science Fair Circuit
Surprise Visitor
Birds
Cranes
Nightingales
Lovebirds
Chemistry and Materials
The Buzz about Caffeine
Smelly Traps for Lampreys
Putting the Squeeze on Toothpaste
Computers
Supersonic Splash
Galaxies on the go
Fingerprint Evidence
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Living Fossil
Digging for Ancient DNA
Dino-bite!
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Coral Gardens
Surf Watch
A Global Warming Flap
Environment
An Ocean View's Downside
Watching for Wildfires in Yellowstone
Food Web Woes
Finding the Past
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Oldest Writing in the New World
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Fish
Dogfish
Puffer Fish
White Tip Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Packing Fat
How Super Are Superfruits?
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
Play for Science
Deep-space dancers
Human Body
A Better Flu Shot
A Long Trek to Asia
A New Touch
Invertebrates
Horseshoe Crabs
Octopuses
Praying Mantis
Mammals
Cheetah
Antelope
Otters
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
IceCube Science
Dreams of Floating in Space
Road Bumps
Plants
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Seeds of the Future
Sweet, Sticky Science
Reptiles
Copperhead Snakes
Turtles
Caimans
Space and Astronomy
Catching a Comet's Tail
Unveiling Titan
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Toy Challenge
Riding Sunlight
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Troubles with Hubble
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Watering the Air
Earth's Poles in Peril
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Add your Article

Narwhals

The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean with a body similar to that of a Beluga whale and Irrawaddy dolphin. It is rare creature found south of latitude 70N. It is one of two species of whale in the Monodontidae family (the other is the Beluga whale). It is possibly also related to the Irrawaddy dolphin. The name "Narwhal" is derived from the Old Norse word nhvalr, meaning "corpse man". This probably is a reference to the mottled white and grey colouring of the skin of the adult. It may also refer to the way a narwhal can lie belly up, motionless, for a few minutes at a time. Unicorn whale: The most conspicuous characteristic of male narwhals is their single extraordinarily long tusk, which is a tooth that projects from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left-handed helix. The tusk can be up to 3 m (nearly 10 ft) long (compared with a body length of 45 m [1316 ft]) and weigh up to 10 kg (22 lb). One in 500 males has two tusks, which occurs when the right tooth, normally small, also grows out. Rarely, a female narwhal may also produce a tusk. Why a tusk? The purpose of the tusk has been the subject of much debate. Early scientific theories supposed that the tusk was used to pierce the ice covering of the narwhal's Arctic Sea habitat. Others suggested the tusk was used in echolocation. More recently, scientists believed the tusk is primarily used for showmanship and for dominance: males with larger tusks are more likely to successfully attract a mate. This hypothesis was suggested by the activity of "tusking", in which two males rub their tusks together. Tusk thermometer, barometer...However, recent work by a research team led by Martin T. Nweeia suggests that the tusk may in fact be a sensory organ. Electron micrographs of tusks revealed millions of tiny, deep tubules extending from the tusk's surface, apparently connecting to the narwhal's nervous system. While such tubules are present in the teeth of many species, they do not typically extend to the surface of healthy teeth. The exact sensory purpose of the tusk remains unknown, but scientists now hypothesize that it may detect temperature, salinity, pressure, and/or particulate makeup of the water in which the narwhal swims. Do not break! Like the tusks of elephants, narwhal tusks do not regrow if they break off. Family Narwhal: Male narwhals weigh up to 1,450 kilograms, the female around 900 kilograms. Most of the body is pale with brown speckles in color, though the neck, head and edges of the flippers and fluke are nearly black. Older animals are usually more brightly colored than younger animals. Quick and active: Narwhales are quick, active mammals which feed mainly on species of cod that reside under ice-enclosed seas. In some areas their diet seems to have adapted to include squid, shrimp, and various fish, such as schooling pelagic fish, halibut, and redfish. Narwhals normally congregate in groups of about five to ten. Sometimes several of these groups might come together, particularly in summer when they congregate on the same coast. At times, male narwhales rub their tusks together in an activity called "tusking". Recent findings of a marine mammal researcher at the Smithsonian Institution, finding that the tusk also plays a role in the animal's sensory perception, with as many as 10 million tiny nerves present within the modified tooth, suggests that the tusking may simply be a way of clearing encrustations from the sensory tubules, sort of like brushing teeth. Deep divers: Narwhals are deep divers. During a typical deep dive the animal will descend at two meters per second for eight to ten minutes, reaching a depth of up to 1000 m, spend perhaps a couple of minutes at depth before returning to the surface. The deepest recorded is 1164 m. Typical dive times are 20 minutes, with 25 minutes recorded in exceptional cases. Harpoon+woman=Narwhal: In Inuit legend, the narwhal was created when a woman holding onto a harpoon had been pulled into the ocean and twisted around the harpoon. The submerged woman was wrapped around a beluga whale on the other end of the harpoon, and that is how the narwhal was created. Unicorn horns: Some medieval Europeans believed narwhal tusks to be the horns from the legendary unicorn. As these tusks were considered to have magic powers, Vikings and other northern traders were able to sell them for many times their weight in gold. The horns were used to make cups that were thought to negate any poison that may have been slipped into the drink. During the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth received a narwhal tusk for 10,000 - the cost of a castle, which she used as a scepter. Unicorns are often depicted with horns with a spiral pattern markedly similar to the narwhal's tusk. The truth of the tusk's origin developed gradually during the Age of Exploration, as explorers and naturalists began to visit Arctic regions themselves. In 1555, Olaus Magnus published a drawing of a fish-like creature with a horn on its forehead, while in 1577, Martin Frobisher depicted the horn going forward. The definitive end to the legend came in 1638, when Danish zoologist Ole Wurm gave a public lecture on the narwhal's tusks.

Narwhals
Narwhals








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™