Subject: Tusked whale

Jennifer D. Philips (
Wed, 06 May 1998 08:57:49 -1000

>Do you know of a whale that has a single protruding "tusk" from its' head?
>I think it is an Arctic mammal, but am not sure. Other kids think I'm nuts,
>and I'm thinking of some kind of aquatic unicorn.
>Jen, help if you can! Thank you!

Yes, there is a whale with a tusk - the narwhal.  It lives in the Arctic.
The narwhal has one of the most distinctive features of all the whales and
dolphins:   it has a long tusk that reaches out from the tip of its head.
Usually, only males have the tusk, which can grow to be as long as 6 or 7
feet in length.  Females only rarely have tusks.  They have indeed been
called unicorns of the sea.

I attached a picture for you and your students to look at.  Also, this web
page has some great photos:

Aloha - 



Jennifer D. Philips

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831