The Narwhal’s Mysterious Unicorn Tooth
Have you heard about the mysterious narwhal and its unicorn tooth? Often seen migrating off the coast of Canada in the Arctic waters, these unique whales bare a spiraling tusk, which is actually a six to nine foot long tooth. We tend to think of teeth as functional instruments for chewing our food; however, the narwhal’s long tooth “is a hydrodynamic sensor capable of detecting particle gradients, temperature, and pressure.” This sensory organ is often used by the whales to detect high saltwater and freshwater.
Like narwhals, our teeth also transmit sensory information to our brains. This unicorn tooth is very important to the survival of the narwhal. Although we don’t have any teeth that resemble the narwhal’s tusk, maintaining healthy teeth for a lifetime will help ensure proper nutrition and function. Check out this unique research of narwhals in the frigid Arctic waters.