ARCTIC CIRCLE - Every week, we like to point out those "Weird Science" stories that leave us scratching our heads. But this time around, it's a marine mammal that's making a point. And it's a very big point indeed!
Playfully called the "unicorn of the sea", a narwhal's most prominent feature has got to be that ginormous horn they have growing out of their noggin. The purpose of their tusks (which is actually a really long tooth) has often baffled scientists. There's been much speculation about the usage of this spear, from an ice breaking tool to a defensive weapon. Now there's new research suggesting these tusks are used to attract the opposite sex! And as it turns out, for Mrs. Narwhal at least, size does matter!
The journal of Marine Mammal Science says there seems to be a direct correlation between the size of a narwhal's tusk and the size of its testicles. The bigger the horn, the bigger the "huevos", which, in turn, might mean greater fertility for the well endowed whale. So if female narwhals want to make baby narwhals, they best find a horny narwhal to mate with.
So there you have it; a strange story about an equally strange sea mammal. And the weirdest part about the narwhal? For them, being "long in the tooth" is actually a good thing. A very good thing.