Unusual Unicorn.

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narwhal

Narwhals usually have one horn apiece, but this fellow has bagged a double. (AFP photo)

People have generally assumed that narwhal horns were used for defense, but according to an article in  Le Figaro, scientists still aren't in agreement:

A research group including specialists in cetaceans as well as dentists are exploring other assumptions. One of their favorites would be a sensory probe. In the support of this theory is the presence of 10 million nerve endings in the pulp of the gigantic tooth. The narwhal could thus detect the salinity of water, its temperature or its pressure, and also the presence of its favorite prey animals. [my translation]

See also Alex's 2005 post on the Super Sensing Tusk of the Unicorn Whale.


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Nice find for that guy. Narwhale horn (pre-ban type, anyway) can sell anywhere from $4000-8000+ USD depending on quality,shape,and size of the horn. This guy must think its his lucky day. I bet it gets even more on the "black" market in the USA. (post ban)

Shame that something so pretty and rare can fetch such a high price. This is the moral dilemma poachers (and native people with hunting rights) face daily. Could you resist hunting rare animals that can bring you/your family a better life through TONS of money? Tough choices, & sad statement on mankind. Everything has a price tag. Save a species from extinction, or watch your kids grow up healthy. Tough choice.

Save the planet, don't have kids...I say. :P
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