On the outside, the whale’s unicorn trunk produces a remarkable size, and on the inside, this long tooth contains a complete history of migration and feeding of marine mammals.
Researchers read 10 episodes of rhinoceros growths in northwestern Greenland because they know very little about it because it spends most of its life under large ice sheets in the remote Arctic.
Published Learning In the current biology of March 10, its findings and more than half a century of consistent data are rare, and provide an invaluable insight into how this species treats whales in rapidly changing conditions.
The whale is unicorn
Rhinoceros The whale is also known as the sea group or rhinoceros. It is a mammal that lives in the Arctic region and is called the Narwhal Whale or Monodon monosaurus. It is considered one of the two whales in the family of whales. White.
Its length ranges from 2 m to 3 m, and is characterized by a distinctive feature in males, which is a long and strong spiral tooth from the left side of its upper jaw, which has caused great controversy. Scientists speculate that it may have been used to break the ice sheet, or that it may have been used for fishing, and still others that it may have been used during sexual intercourse.
Recent studies show that this trunk is an organ that is surrounded by millions of nerve endings that can detect the temperature, salinity, and pressure of swimming water. Sensitive teeth can be used as “bio-sonar”, which allows them to travel to the dark depths of the ocean.
Migration of marine mammals
Today, with climate change, the Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the world, and rhino whales are one of the region’s most endangered marine mammals.
By analyzing the chemicals in each layer of the unicorn whale, the researchers created profiles of nutrition and mercury exposure for each individual until 2010. The isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were used exclusively to reveal where each person ate and ate during his or her lifetime, with some samples dating back to 1962.
Ron Dietz, a marine mammal researcher at Arhaz University in Denmark, says: Press release The university itself says, “Here, data is a mirror of Arctic evolution.” “It’s unique that an animal can contribute to a long-term data network for 50 years in this way,” he adds.
Big question and future studies
Until the 1990s, unicorn whales in the Arctic were seen eating Halibut and Arctic cod, while as the ice in the Arctic began to melt rapidly, the group changed their appetite and grazed marine fish. Open Capelin and Polar Code.
It is not clear what led to this change, but researchers say that since the beginning of this century, the amount of mercury in rhino fat has increased significantly, and this trend is consistent with other animals in the region. This is due to changes in diet or increased human pollution from activities such as mining, coal production, energy production, cement production or incineration.
“The big question now is how these changes will affect the health and fitness of major Arctic species in the coming years,” says Jean-Pierre Desforges, an environmental toxicologist at McGill University in Canada.
Researchers believe that the unexpected and rapid increase in mercury in rhinoceroses could be caused by either more human pollution, a change in the food web in the area, or both.
“The more food you eat, the more mercury you will accumulate throughout your life,” says Deforges.
Researchers believe that climate change has so far caused the researchers to use the ancient teeth of a rhinoceros whale from museum archives to see how these mammals have long been able to cope with mercury and climate change.