Narwhal

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Narwhal

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  2. 2. A newborn narwhal calf is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and can weigh 175 to 220 pounds (79 to 100 kilograms). Narwhals are normally found in pods of two to ten.<br />
  3. 3. The Narwhal (meaning "corpse whale" in Old Norse) is a rarely seen Arctic whale. This social whale is known for the VERY long tooth that males have. Very little is known about this whale. <br />
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  5. 5. All narwhals have two teeth in their upper jaw. After the first year of a male narwhal's life, its left tooth grows outward, spirally. This long, single tooth projects from its upper jaw and can grow to be 7-10 feet (2-3 m) long. Tusks are usually twisted in a counter clockwise direction and have a hollow interior. The tusk's function is uncertain, perhaps used as a formidable jousting weapon in courtship and dominance rivalry, in obtaining food, and/or for channelling and amplifying sonar pulses (which they emit). The tusk is not used in hunting.<br />
  6. 6. A pod of male narwhals gather at the Arctic ice edge to eat cod.<br />
  7. 7. The amazing narwhal whale (Monodonmonoceros) spends its winter home among the pack ice of the eastern Arctic. Narwhals have a cylindrical body, a gray back with white blotches and no dorsal fin. <br />The 2-meter long, spiralled tusk of male Narwhals grows from a tooth and can weigh up to 10 kilograms. The tusk may be used for male combat in competition for females. Polar bears hunt Narwhals from the pack ice and killer whales prey on them in open water.<br />
  8. 8. Hunting for narwhals on Baffin Island, Nunavut Territory, Canada.<br />
  9. 9. Gunfire greets narwhals at Canada's Admiralty Inlet in spring. Only Inuit may hunt the whales, using methods that vary by season and location. Rifles ease the hunt, but only the best marksmen can kill with one shot.<br />
  10. 10. During hunts at the ice edge, many narwhals are shot — but not all are retrieved, as this one was. Some whales sink; others escape, wounded. Estimates suggest high numbers of the whales are lost, but the claim remains controversial.<br />
  11. 11. A hunting team with a freshly caught narwhal.<br />
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  13. 13. Appearing to grin even in death, the narwhal fills important cultural and economic roles in Inuit life.<br />
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  16. 16. A hunter packs slabs of muktuk, narwhal skin and blubber, into a skin bag for the journey home. Considered a delicacy, muktuk is also a rich source of vitamin C in a land where fresh vegetables are flown in at high cost.<br />
  17. 17. Brisk strokes of a wire brush remove dark algae from a tusk, revealing its ivory gleam. Sold on the international market, tusks bring welcome cash to Inuit communities facing high poverty rates. Longer tusks fetch higher prices: A nine-foot (three meters) specimen in prime condition may earn $2,000 for a hunter, then $5,000 for a retailer.<br />
  18. 18. A narwhal skull with double tusks, a rare trait in narwhals. <br />Usually males have a single long tusk protruding from the incisor on the left side of the upper jaw. <br />
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  20. 20. Trinity<br />2010<br />

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