That's One Weird Tooth | Science News


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That's One Weird Tooth

And other bulletins on the elusive narwhal

2:43pm, March 21, 2006

What Martin Nweeia noticed first when he encountered narwhals, he says, was the sound. In May 2000, as spring was just reaching Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, a famed local hunter took Nweeia out on the ice searching the open water for those tusk-bearing, high-Arctic whales. "I was sitting on a bucket out on the ice doing polar bear watch," he says. At that time of year, daylight lasts around the clock, and at 3 a.m., the gray sky had orange streaks. "The water was like glass, and a light mist was rolling in," he says. "Then, I heard the breathing."

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