The horn on the narwhal is actually a tooth. It can grow up to 8.75 feet long and grows right out of the narwhal’s upper lip. The horn on males tends to be longer than the horn on females. The interior of the horn is hollow, and the outside is spiraled counterclockwise. It’s unknown what the real purpose is behind the tusk, but many think it’s used in mating rituals.
Correct, as clar7589, has already mentioned, the “horn” fixed afront the narwhal is actually a tooth. They have also been used for mating practices, a sort of display for male narwhals to attract females. The horn may also be used to fend off predators or competition for mates. The spiraling design on the tusk is believed to be used as a tool for balance for the narwhal.
Usually 13-15 feet in length and weighing 2,200 to 3,500 pounds, the narwhal can be found in the Atlantic part of the Arctic Ocean. It has recently been discovered that the protruding tooth that resembles a tusk is actually has hydrodynamic sensor capabilities. With no other comparison found in nature, the tooth consists of ten million tiny nerve connections with a highly sensitive surface that can detect changes in water temperature, pressure and particle gradients. Because they can detect such variations in particle grandients, the narwhals can detect changes in water salinity which may help them adapt to the environment of living in the Arctic Ocean.
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