Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

A narwhal pod. (Courtesy of Kristin Laidre)

 

Narwhals are whales, and super cool ones at that. But that cool thing coming out of their heads is a tusk, not a horn. Which means it’s a tooth! And it’s the only known spiral tooth to boot!

In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tusk is for and how they’re connected to the myth of the unicorn) and the evolution of teeth (from scale-like nubbins to the versatile chompers we have today).

Plus our Moment of Um explores whether or not water has a taste.

Watch: Drone footage of narwhals

Pod of narwhals, northern Canada, August 2005. Image courtesy of Kristin Laidre.

A pod of narwhals from northern Canada, August 2005. Image courtesy of Kristin Laidre.

A pod of narwhals. (Image courtesy of Kristin Laidre)