The narwhal, Monodon monoceros, has long fascinated sea explorers, scientists and aristocracy. This arctic whale is characterized by a single spiraled tusk extending six to nine feet, emerging from the upper jaw and through the lips of adult males. Some females may exhibit a tusk and, in rare instances, a male with two tusks has been observed. Often associated with the horn of the unicorn, the narwhal tooth has found its way into the books of scientific rarities and mythical tales.
National Geographic Explorer of the Week, Sept-Oct 2012
Dr. Martin Nweeia for his research on the functional significance of the narwhal tusk.
More can be found at: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/09/26/explorer-of-the-week-martin-nweeia/
New York Times, Science Times, December 13, 2005
"It was a shock. There, contrary to all known precepts of tooth anatomy, they found open tubules leading down through the mazelike coating to the tooth's inner nerves and pulp."
New Scientist, Feb. 5, 2005
"It is, without question, the most extraordinary and unique tooth in nature."
Marine Mammal Conference
A new theory for narwhal tusk function, hydrodynamic sensor capabilities announced.
| Narwhal Tusk Discoveries
The narwhal tusk has mystified scientists, researchers and academics for centuries. What does this unique tooth do? Join us in a scientific journey that helps uncover the mystery.
Dr. Frederick Eichmiller, PRC, ADAF, NIST
It might provide some insight to how we can strengthen human teeth. Dental materials science meets the 'unicorn' tooth. National Geographic Society films story of narwhal.
Dr. James Mead, Curator, Smithsonian
The scanning electron micrographs generated from this research show that even the most treasured generalizations are worth looking at anew in the light of modern technology.
||Explorers Club, World Center for Exploration awards prestigious "Flag" to expeditions in 2003 through 2012. |