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 10/14/09 Animal of the Day

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Torri-chan
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Join date : 2009-05-18
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Location : GA US

PostSubject: 10/14/09 Animal of the Day   Wed Oct 14 2009, 19:35

The Wild Side's Animal of the Day is: The Narwhal. The Narwhal (Monodon Monoceros) is a very rarely seen Arctic whale. They average 1-1.8 tons and can be anywhere from 13 to 16 feet. Common coloration for the Narwhal is bluish-gray with white blotches. The Narwhal's life span averages about 50 years, and its diet consists of fish, squid, shrimp, and other marine animals.

This social whale is known for the VERY long tooth that males have. Very little is known about this whale.
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 counterclockwise 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 channeling and amplifying sonar pulses (which they emit). The tusk is not used in hunting. Long ago, narwhal sightings reinforced (or started) the unicorn legends. These majestic animals are listed in the Near Threatened category.



A pod of Narwhals

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