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Arctic Whales in a Melting World

Todd McLeish

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eBook - ePub


Arctic Whales in a Melting World

Todd McLeish

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About This Book

Among all the large whales on Earth, the most unusual and least studied is the narwhal, the northernmost whale on the planet and the one most threatened by global warming. Narwhals thrive in the fjords and inlets of northern Canada and Greenland. These elusive whales, whose long tusks were the stuff of medieval European myths and Inuit legends, are uniquely adapted to the Arctic ecosystem and are able to dive below thick sheets of ice to depths of up to 1,500 meters in search of their prey-halibut, cod, and squid.

Join Todd McLeish as he travels high above the Arctic circle to meet:

Teams of scientific researchers studying the narwhal's life cycle and the mysteries of its tusk

Inuit storytellers and hunters

Animals that share the narwhals' habitat: walruses, polar bears, bowhead and beluga whales, ivory gulls, and two kinds of seals

McLeish consults logbooks kept by whalers and explorers and interviews folklorists and historians to tease out the relationship between the real narwhal and the mythical unicorn. In Colorado, he visits climatologists studying changes in the seasonal cycles of the Arctic ice. From a history of the trade in narwhal tusks to descriptions of narwhals' vocalizations as heard through hydrophones, Narwhals reveals the beauty and thrill of the narwhal and its habitat, and the threat it faces from a rapidly changing world.

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Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 137
Admiralty Inlet, 5, 60, 151, 171
Aelianus, Claudius, 63
aerial survey, 2526, 29, 32, 107, 138
Alaska Veterinary Pathology Services, 95
albedo, 87, 92
Aldrovandi, Ulisse, 12
algal bloom, 23, 93, 95, 180
alicorn, 65
Ambulocetus, 80
American Dental Association Foundation, 43
Angnetsiak, David, 12021
Antarctica, 2123, 86
Antarctic krill, 2123
Archaeocetes, 80
Arctic Bay, 114, 156
Arctic char, 37
Arctic cod, 24, 93, 99
Arctic poppy, 161
Arctic willow, 17
Aristotle, 63
assallut, 103
Auger-Méthé, Marie, 16570
aurora borealis, 18385
awatuk, 1023, 112
Azolla, 8586
Backman, Jan, 84
Baffin Bay, 4, 16, 69, 141; aerial survey of, 107; algal blooms in, 95; and bowhead whales, 17778; and fishing, 145; and narwhal wintering, 29, 81, 177; sea ice, 93; temperatures, 12425; and walrus, 46
Baffin Island, 58, 16, 24, 3536; and bowhead migration, 179; and ivory gulls, 12930
Barren Grounds, 6
Basilosaurus, 80
Beaufort Sea, 157
beluga whale, x, 18, 29, 60, 83, 137, 155; in captivity, 150, 15660; feeding, 93, 109; hunting of, 113; hybrid of, 83, 97; and pollutants, 143; tagging of, 146
Bering Sea, 157, 180
Black, Sandie, 152, 155, 17576
Blossville Coast, 138
blue whale, 113
Bone Cell Biology Lab, 41
Boston Children's Hospital, 41
bowhead whale, 56, 93, 1089, 147, 17882; aerial survey of, 2527; aging of, 18082; and climate change...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Narwhals
APA 6 Citation
McLeish, T. (2013). Narwhals ([edition unavailable]). University of Washington Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2013)
Chicago Citation
McLeish, Todd. (2013) 2013. Narwhals. [Edition unavailable]. University of Washington Press.
Harvard Citation
McLeish, T. (2013) Narwhals. [edition unavailable]. University of Washington Press. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
McLeish, Todd. Narwhals. [edition unavailable]. University of Washington Press, 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.