I was just looking through the various news stories on the BBC and came across this one by Ella Davies. A resent study at Harvard School of Dental Medicine has found that a Narwhal’s tusk is sensitive to temperature and chemical differences to the surrounding environment. This was established when a difference in the heart rate of a Narwhal occured when exposed to these changes.
The Narwhal is a pretty cool and interesting creature. The tusk is usually found on males and actually a front tooth which grows to extrordinary lengths, up to 2.6m (9ft). It has long been suggested that the tusk is a sexual characteristic, as it only usually males who have them. However, this new study suggests a new insight into the Narwhal – although more reserach is needed in the area to establish what is actualy going on. As these animals are rarely sighted very little is known about them in any sense so any new information is extremely important and revealing. The research is now continuing and information from hunters is being gained to attempt to shed more life on these elusive creatures.
Read the full article here.