Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life of Narwhal

Life of Sea | Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) | Narwhal or Narwhale is a medium-sized toothed whale. This is an almost panarctic species, usually appears above the Arctic Circle all year round. It has a strong discontinuous series, separated by the island of Greenland. There are annual migrations, especially in open water in autumn and back to the coastal waters in spring. In the summer, they follow the ice to more coastal areas. In the winter, they remain in the ice, generally by means of tears or holes. Narwhals have been harvested for more than a thousand years by the Inuit in northern Canada and Greenland for meat and ivory, and a regulated subsistence hunting remains to this day. While the population is evenly as the narwhal is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to a narrow geographical range and specialized diet. 

Narwhals have a black and white spotted skin pattern on the back format and are white underneath on their belly. They are born gray and as they get older they black and white. Very old Narwhals can be very white with some black spots. They are formed similar to beluga or white whale, but are slightly more streamlined with less than bacon and fat folds. The narwhal The neck is not as flexible as a beluga. Male Narwhals can reach a length of 5 meters. Females are slightly smaller. Narwhals are characterized by a robust body, relatively small, bulbous head with little or no beak, short stubby flippers who ruminate on the tips in adults, the lack of a dorsal fin and unusually shaped bone. The tail fins of adults be on the front straight to concave, and convex on the trailing edge. The most remarkable feature of Narwhal is its teeth. There are two teeth, both in the upper jaw. In female, this almost always remain embedded in the jaw bone, but in males the left tooth normally grows out through the front of the head. Sometimes women with a tusk or two males developed tusks seen. 

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Cetacea
Suborder:     Odontoceti
Family:     Monodontidae
Genus:     Monodon
Linnaeus, 1758
Species:     M. monoceros

Narwhal is an odontocete or toothed whales, but unlike all other toothed whales have no teeth in his mouth. The tooth is growing in anti-clockwise spiral. The male Narwhal tusk is unique. In very rare cases, a female grow a tusk, or a Narwhal will grow two tusks. To some extent, the tusks still inspire fantasies, like many explanations have been proposed for the purpose of the tusk, including: breaking ice, sword fighting, spearing fish for food, or for digging in the bottom of the sea. In fact, none of these behaviors ever observed. One thing that is clear is that the tusk is not a critical function for survival Narwhals' to serve, because women, who no tusks, still manage to live longer than men and live in the same areas, while also responsible for reproduction and calf rearing. 

Their arctic distribution and unique appearance, the narwhal is only likely to be confused with the beluga whale. Young beluga whales, in particular, can look like Narwhals, because the gray color of the young of both species and the absence of a narwhal tusk in young. The absence of spots or stains on the white whale is probably the best guide, and male Narwhals can be easily distinguished by their tusks. Narwhals make a wide range of clicks and whistles underwater. Their voices seem to vary in the summer and winter. They use the button or echolocation to detect objects in the water (as prey), for navigation and communication. 

Narwhals have a relatively limited and specialized nutrition. Their prey consists mainly of Greenland halibut, polar and Arctic cod, shrimp and squid Gonatus. Additional items found in stomachs wolffish, capelin, skate eggs and sometimes rocks included, accidentally ingested when whales feed near the bottom. The most striking of their adaptations is the ability to perform deep dives. When on their wintering grounds, the narwhals some of the deepest dive ever recorded for a marine mammal to make. Narwhals normally congregate in groups of about five to ten people. In the summer more groups come together, the formation of larger aggregates. The only predators of narwhals besides humans are polar bears and orcas. 

In Inuit legend, the Narwhal tusk made of when a woman with a harpoon rope around her waist was dragged into the ocean after the harpoon had beaten a large narwhal. It was transformed into a narwhal herself, and her hair that she wore in a twisted knot, became the characteristic spiral narwhal tusk. Some medieval Europeans believed Narwhal tusks to the horns of the legendary unicorn. As these horns were considered magical powers, including the ability to cure poison and melancholia, Vikings and other northern traders were able to sell them for many times their weight in gold.

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