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The Evolution of Narwhals

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Claire Colvin

on 26 February 2015

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Transcript of The Evolution of Narwhals

Honors Biology
Claire Colvin
The Evolution of Narwhals
Narwhal Phylogeny
Mouth -
Have no teeth
Swallow food whole

Neck -
Flexible
Look around for food
Food Adaptations
Skin -
Thick layer of blubber
Tusk -
Large sensory organ
Can measure salt concentration of water
Icebergs are melting (low salinity)
Icebergs are forming (high salinity)
Climate Adaptations
Appearance
Diving -
Dive to hide
Dive up to a mile and a half below surface
Hold breath up to 20 minutes
Echolocation -
Use high pitched clicks, squeals, and whistles
Sound can bounce off predators or glaciers
Sound is deafening to humans
Forehead -
Sound waves bounce off
Predator Adaptations
The Evolution of Narwhals
Honors Biology
By Claire Colvin

Location
Arctic Seas
Russia
Greenland
Diet
Squid
Fish
Shrimp
Tusk
Toothless Mouth
Forehead
Tail or Fluke
Sexual Adaptations
Tusk -
Thought to be like antlers
Used for jousting
Sometimes have two
Attract females

Current Status
80,000 Narwhals in the wild
Not endangered - Just really rare
Habitat -
Climate change/pollution
Gas and oil development
Shipping sounds
"Entrapment" -
A pod of narwhals surrounded by ice
No way to get out
Trapped under thick ice -
Can't break through dense ice
Drown
Hunted by orcas, walruses, polar bears
Native people hunt
Kingdom
- Animalia
Phyllum
- Chordata
Class
- Mammalia
Order
- Cetartiodactyla
Family
- Monodontidae
Genus
- Monodon
Species
- monoceros
Neck
Color -
Newborns - bluish Grey
Juveniles - black-blue
Adults - "mottled" grey
Old Narwhals - white
Narwhal Evolution
Bibliography

"Basic Facts About Narwhals." Defenders of Wildlife. N.p., 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.defenders.org/narwhal/basic-facts htt>.
"CetaceanEvolution." CetaceanEvolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.locolobo.org/CetaceanEvolution.html>.
"For a Dentist, the Narwhal's Smile Is a Mystery of Evolution - Smithsonian Science." Smithsonian Science. N.p., 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://smithsonianscience.org/2012/04/for-dentist-the-narwhals-smile-is-a-mystery-of-evolution/>.
The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-solve-the-mystery-of-the-narwhals-tusk-9202935.html>.
"Monodon Monoceros." (Narwhal, Unicorn Whale). N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13704/0>.
"Narwhal Adaptations." Narwhal Adaptations. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://w3.shorecrest.org/~Lisa_Peck/MarineBio/syllabus/ch9vertebrates/mammals/mammalwp/class_of_2005/kevin2/narwhaladaptations.html>.
"Narwhal Adaptations." Narwhal Adaptations. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://w3.shorecrest.org/~Lisa_Peck/MarineBio/syllabus/ch9vertebrates/mammals/mammalwp/class_of_2005/kevin2/narwhaladaptations.html>.
"Narwhals, Monodon Monoceros." MarineBio.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=336>.
"National Marine Mammal Laboratory." National Marine Mammal Laboratory. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/education/cetaceans/beluga.php>.
"Secrets of the Narwhal Tusk." Harvard Gazette. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/03/secrets-of-the-narwhal-tusk/>.
"Unicorn of the Sea: Narwhal Facts." WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/unicorn-of-the-sea-narwhal-facts>.
Monodon monoceros
Evidence of Evolution
Sexual Selection
6 - 9 Years Old
One calf every 3 years
Breeding period - March and April
Gestation period of 14 months
Give birth - May and June
During migration
Colder waters for feeding
Warmer waters for birth
Thought that they related Odobenocetops
Narwhals rarely have two tusks
If do - left is
always
longer than right
Same with the Odobenocetops
Found with fossils that were formed about 3 to 5 million years ago
Did not evolve from them - closely related
Hard to study narwhal evolution
Monodon monoceros
Full transcript