Form and also Function

Narwhals are well adjusted to the arctic marine environment in which lock live. Narwhals have a streamline body v two dorsal flippers and lack a dorsal fin. Propulsion originates from their tail. They have actually a special layer that blubber to defend their bodies from the cold (Williams et al. 2011).

their bodies room specially adjusted for deep dives. Narwhals have a compressible rib cage the s

upports their organs in deep water whereby pressures are too much (Heide-Jorgensen & Garde 2011). Two other keys to the narwhal’s exceptional diving capacity can be uncovered in their muscles. First, narwhal muscles fibers contain double the lot of myoglobin of various other oceanic mammals, which permits their muscle to work longer (Williams et al. 2011). The composition of the narwhal muscle also assists lock on long, deep dives. Narwhal muscle is make of mostly slow-twitch muscle fibers. This muscles fibers use oxygen an ext efficiently and are offered for endurance instead of rate (Williams et al. 2011). This adaptations allow narwhals to go 25 minutes between breaths and to record some of the deepest dives ever before recorded for a mammal in ~ 1800m deep, i beg your pardon is better than one mile (Williams et al. 2011).

The clinical name because that narwhal, Monodon monoceros, way “one tooth”, “one horn” (Heide-Jorgensen & Garde 2011). This name refers to the narwhal’s many recognizable feature, the tusk. Unlike other toothed whales, narwhals only have actually two teeth. These two teeth space both in the top jaw. In males, the appropriate tooth typically remains tiny and go not flourish out that the mouth, while the left this grows right into a tusk that have the right to be 3 meters long (Curry 2010). A small percentage the males have actually two tusks, in i beg your pardon both teeth have grown right into tusks, known as "bidental" narwhals. The tusks are spiraled v a respond to clockwise rotation, loved one to the narwhal (Curry 2010).Ordinarily, females absence tusks. The objective and duty of your tusks has been extensively speculated. Originally, it was believed that the tusks aided them hunt because that food, or break breathing feet in the ice cream (Curry 2010). Today, researchers think that the tusks are essential in sex-related selection. Because that example, the narwhal v the biggest tusk would can mate very first (Curry 2010). Other researchers think that the tusk is likewise filled with neurons and sensory cells that aid the narwhal identify the problems of its environment (Curry 2010; Williams et al. 2011).

You are watching: How do narwhals adapt to their environment

See more: How To Play Rocky Theme Song On Trumpet Free Sheet Music, Theme From Rocky From Rocky

This would certainly be advantageous to the narwhal throughout deep dives where there is no light and also hunting would certainly be generally done through touch (Laidre 2004).