Narwhals

Narwhals

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This image is part of the feature The Truth Behind Mythical Monsters

Credit: CHRISTIAN DARKIN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Narwhals (Monodon monoceros), computer artwork. These rare sea mammals are one of three whale species that spend their entire lives in the Arctic. They are usually seen in groups that consist of females with their calves, accompanied by several mature males. All males, and occasionally the females, have two teeth, the left of which grows into a long spiralled tusk (alicon), extending forward from the head. It is thought to help determine dominance amongst the males in a group and may be involved in the narwhal mating ritual. It is also thought that this tusk is the basis of the myth of the unicorn.

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Keywords: alicon, animal, arctic, artwork, biological, biology, carnivore, carnivourous, duo, illustration, legend, mammal, monodon monoceros, myth, narwhal, narwhals, nature, ocean, pair, sea, tooth, tusk, tusked, two, underwater, unicorn, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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