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People always say that it hurts at night and apparently screaming into your pillow at 3am is the romantic equivalent of being heartbroken. But sometimes it’s 9am on a Tuesday morning and you’re standing at the kitchen bench waiting for the toast to pop up. And the smell of dusty sunlight and earl grey tea makes you miss him so much you don’t know what to do with your hands.
Rosie Scanlan, “On Missing Them”    (via cultivate-solitude)

freedomforwhales:

Narwhal

  • Narwhals are distinguishable by the 2-3m long tusk that is found mostly on males. In Europe, these tusks were once sold as the horns of the mythical unicorn.
  • In the summer months they are found to congregate in the hundreds and even thousands on rich feeding grounds, whilst during winter the majority of them disperse into smaller groups. The narwhal and the beluga together comprise the Monodontidae family.
  • Like the beluga, the narwhal lives only in the most northerly climes. Physical characteristics include a bulbous forehead, no prominent beak, an arched mouthline, a dorsal ridge rather than a fin, and short blunt flippers with upcurled edges. The fluke has an oddly convex trailing edge which makes it appear as if it was put on backwards.
  • Adult males have ‘jousting’ competitions, making distinctive ‘clacking’ sounds. Many adult males have scars from these fights, and as many as 1/3 of males have broken tusks. It is thought that social status is linked to tusk length. Approximately 3% of females have a tusk, and there has only been 1 documented case of a female with two tusks. 
  • During annual migrations, hundreds or even thousands may travel together, swimming fast and close to the surface. They can be found floating motionless at the surface with part of the tusk or flipper visible.
  • Narwhals inhabit waters above the Arctic Circle, right up to the edge of the ice cap. The species is often found around pack ice. In the summer, narwhals migrate to cold, deep fjords and bays closer to land. Natural predators include polar bears, killer whales, and some sharks. Hunted by humans for centuries for their tusk ivory, their skin and blubber, called mattak, is still today sought after as a food source for native peoples in Canada and Greenland.

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