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Monday, February 23, 2009

Seven layers...a new record!

Layer 1: thin silk thermal shirt
Layer 2: thick silk thermal shirt
Layer 3: cashmere sweater
Layer 4: thick turtleneck wool sweater
Layer 5: hooded fleece jacket
Layer 6: 700 fill down jacket
Layer 7: windproof gortex shell

That is what I wore on my top half today. It was cold!!! And after yesterday, I did not want to be cold! Seven layers!!! Holy moley. I needed an assistant to zip up my shell because I was so puffy! But, I was toasty warm today. Check out the weather post. This is the first thing we look at before we go out every day. The key number is the Wind Chill!!!

It was another long day in the field. This morning we headed out to dig some more snow pits at two different sites. We dug two pits at each site and collected 44 snow cores. Phew. It was a 45 minute qamatuk ride each direction... I was really thankful for my seven layers! Check out the photo of the qamatuk. We sit on cushions in the box towed behind the snow mobile. The one in this picture has our gear tobagan in the back.
We headed back for a warm lunch, something I missed terribly yesterday, and then headed out again. This time we split the team up. A few people headed out with Dr. Pete to collect more core samples (the bigger the sample size, the better the results!) and the rest of us went out with a grad student studying tree needle dessication in varying ecosystems. He is comparing trees in the tundra, forest tundra (which has just a few trees) and forest. For each tree we needed to collect 9 samples. He is looking at needles on different sides of the trees: the NorthWest, which is where the majority of the wind comes from (and there is a lot of wind!), the South, which is the side of the tree that gets the most sunlight, and the East, though I can't remember why. On each of those sides of the tree, we took a sample from the canopy, which is the section above the wind damage, the middle where the tree is sandblasted with blowing snow, and one from below the snow level. There are no canopies on the "trees" in the tundra...if you can even find a tree. The people sampling there had to dig alot and were blasted by the wind. In the forest, the trees blocked the wind alot, but we sank into the huge snow drifts. Walking was a challenge, but I did get to try stomping around in snow shoes, which was fun. And the walking is so difficult it warms you up, which is a bonus! We made it back to the center just in time for dinner. I was so tired upon our arrival that I just laid down on the floor...but my hungry stomach did not allow me to stay long. :)

Three more people slept in the igloo last night and they all took my hot water bottle recommendation. Something to keep in mind if you ever need to sleep out in the cold...

One of the girls on my team has experienced one of my Arctic fears...she got frostbite on her nose! She got a black spot on the side of her nose and then the skin peeled off!!! Luckily she looks pretty normal today...no bits fell off! But today the tip turned dark and we are waiting for the peeling phase...

I wish that I could take a picture that would capture the perspective that I have through my goggles. No matter what I do, on long qamatuk rides my goggles frost up, usually from the top down. So my vision is blurred by ice crystals as I look out onto a world where the snow is blowing all around due to the wind, catching sunlight as it flies above the white sparkly landscape. It is quite surreal and magical in a cold way.

Here is the narwhal tusk from the Eskimo Museum. I was really surprised at how big it was! Blog Challenge for today is to do a little research on narwhals. Habitat? Size? Food source and predators? Uses for humans? Tusks - who has them, how big are they, and function. And three fun facts... :)
I have to go check for more northern lights... Ciao for now!

17 Comments:

At February 23, 2009 at 8:50 PM , Anonymous 3-Courtney Howe said...

Narwhals.

Habitat: Arctic Waters
Size: Narwhals weigh about one ton and can grow up to 16 feet.
Food Source: fish, shrimp and other aquatic animals.
Predators: Humans, Polar bears & Orcas.
Use for Humans: Their tusks are taken from them to be sold because they are made out of ivory.

Tusks:
The male narwhals are the only ones that have tusks, and few females. Narwhals tusks are up to three meters long in the males.
The function of the tusks is used as a sensory organ. Not only is it used for fighting, but the tusk can detect changes in water temperature, pressure, and particle gradients.

Fun Facts:
1.The narwhal is one of the rarest whales, with only between 25,000 and 45,000 remaining in the world.
2. Some narwhals have been found with two tusks.
3. The word Narwhal means, "Corpse Whale".

 
At February 23, 2009 at 9:08 PM , Anonymous 3 - Kellie Rieger said...

Narwhals can be found in the Atlantic and Russian portions of the Antarctic. Individual narwhals are also sometimes seen in the northern portions of the Hudson Bay and Strait,and Baffin Bay, off of the eastern coast of Greenland, and in a relatively narrow area running along the northern end of Greenland to eastern Russia.The narwhal whale population is estimated to be around 40,000, but has also been suggested to be as high as 50,000 individual whales.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 9:28 PM , Anonymous 4 - Max Axline said...

Narwhals are almost an imaginary creature, but are actually very real. They live year round in the artic and prey mostly on Greenland halibut, polar and Arctic cod, shrimp and Gonatus squid. Male Narwhals can weigh up to 3,500 pounds while females weigh up to 2,200 pounds. The only predators of a narwhal are polar bears and orcas. A male narwhal's tusk can grow up to 7-10 feet long. They us these tusk for fighting and self defense.

1) There is currently no reliable method for determining the age of narwhal.

2) Narwhals commonly dive to 1600 feet though they can dive in excess of 3300 feet for over a 20 minute period.

3) Females weigh 1000 kg at maturity.
Males weigh 1600 kg at maturity.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Joseph_P4 said...

its habitat is primarily the canadian and greenland arctic. it feeds on mostly benthic creatures like flatfish. live in cold conditions and hunt under the ice usually. people hunt them for there tusks and there meat. it is a medium sized tooth whale. polar bears and orcas are predators of them besides humans. three fun facts are, they are hunted for the ivory base of there tusks, theres a rough population of 75,000, and sometimes males rub there tusks together to promote there dominance

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous 1-Maseah Rasta said...

Blog 7 Narwhal's

Habitat: The Narwhal is found primarely in the Atlantic and Russian areas of the Artic, in other words, in very cold temperatures.

Size: Male Narwhal's weigh up to 1600 kg and grow from 4-6 meters long. Females weigh up to 1000 kg and also grow from 4-6 meters long.

Food Source: Narwhal's diet consist of Greenland halibut, polar and Artic cod, shrimp, Gonatus squid, wolfish, capeline, skate eggs and sometimes even rocks.

Predators: The only predators for Narwhal's are polar bears and orcas.

Uses for Humans: Narwhal's meat, skin, blubber, and organs are considered delicacy's.

Tusks: Males are the ones who primarely carry tusks, though some females also carry tusks. They can be up to 3 meters long. Tusks are used as secondary characteristics, they could also be sense organs, as well as, for fighting.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous 1-Maseah Rasta said...

Blog 7 Narwhal's

Habitat: The Narwhal is found primarely in the Atlantic and Russian areas of the Artic, in other words, in very cold temperatures.

Size: Male Narwhal's weigh up to 1600 kg and grow from 4-6 meters long. Females weigh up to 1000 kg and also grow from 4-6 meters long.

Food Source: Narwhal's diet consist of Greenland halibut, polar and Artic cod, shrimp, Gonatus squid, wolfish, capeline, skate eggs and sometimes even rocks.

Predators: The only predators for Narwhal's are polar bears and orcas.

Uses for Humans: Narwhal's meat, skin, blubber, and organs are considered delicacy's.

Tusks: Males are the ones who primarely carry tusks, though some females also carry tusks. They can be up to 3 meters long. Tusks are used as secondary characteristics, they could also be sense organs, as well as, for fighting.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous 1-Maseah Rasta said...

Blog 7 Narwhal's

Habitat: The Narwhal is found primarely in the Atlantic and Russian areas of the Artic, in other words, in very cold temperatures.

Size: Male Narwhal's weigh up to 1600 kg and grow from 4-6 meters long. Females weigh up to 1000 kg and also grow from 4-6 meters long.

Food Source: Narwhal's diet consist of Greenland halibut, polar and Artic cod, shrimp, Gonatus squid, wolfish, capeline, skate eggs and sometimes even rocks.

Predators: The only predators for Narwhal's are polar bears and orcas.

Uses for Humans: Narwhal's meat, skin, blubber, and organs are considered delicacy's.

Tusks: Males are the ones who primarely carry tusks, though some females also carry tusks. They can be up to 3 meters long. Tusks are used as secondary characteristics, they could also be sense organs, as well as, for fighting.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:14 PM , Anonymous 5- McGuireGillan said...

The narwhal, which also has other meaning of “corpse whale”, is known as the very rarely ever seen Artic whale. It is recognized for the extra long tooth on the end of its head, but there is very little known about the whale itself. Narwhals in size can grown to be about 16 feet long, and usually weigh a whopping 1.8 tons! That sizing is usually for the males, because typically the females are a little bit smaller, about 13 feet long and weighing 1 ton. Narwhals rarely ever stray away from ice, and sometimes in the summer they are seen in estuaries, bays, and deep fjords. They eat fish, shrimp, squid, or other marine animals. The tooth located on the narwhal is 7-10 feet; the tusks usually have a hollow interior and twist in a counterclockwise direction. They are not used for hunting, but some believe it is used for mating rituals.
3 interesting facts are

1. They are also known as the unicorn of the sea

2. They have pictures of the rare discovery of the double narwhal tusks, http://www.narwhaltusks.com/history-of-the-narwhal.html,

3. Relative to a bus, a narwhal is ¾ the size.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:14 PM , Anonymous 4- Jennika Guerrero said...

Narwhals
The Narwhals live deep deep down in the arctic and if not there the bay area. They really love salty water as well. They tend to be 10-20 feet and weigh up to 1-1.5 tons. Narwhals eat green halibut, polar cod, flounder, and occasionally shrimp and squid. Their predators tend to be people or eskimos, as well as polar bears, and killer whales. Also shifting ice can be a predator because they float over them and they drowned. The uses humans get from them would be oil, their blubber, but mostly that they make money off the creatures. The tusks are only found on the male Narwhals and the tusk is a tooth that is portruding from the upper lip. They also use their tusk for jousting with one another.
Three fun facts
1 The Narwhal started the myth of the unicorn
2 They are known as the "unicorn of the sea" and seen in groups of 15-20
3 They lack a dorsal fin, and when born they are all white

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:27 PM , Anonymous 2-TREY SENATE said...

"SEVEN LAYERS...A NEW RECORD!

* A NARWHAL IS A MEDIUM SIZED WHALE THAT LIVES YEAR ROUND IN THE ARTIC.

* HABITATE- NARWHALE WHALES ARE FOUND PRIMARILY IN CANADIAN ARTIC.

* MALE NARWHALS WEIGH UP TO 1,600 KG (3,500)LBS. AND FEMALES WEIGH AROUND 1,000 KG (2,200)LBS.

* NARWHALS EAT A VARITY OF FOOD THAT INCLUDES, HALABIT, COD SHRIMP AND SQUID.

* WIKIPEDIA LISTED MAN, POLAR BEARS, AND ORCAS AS THE NARWHALS MAIN PREDATORS.

* HUMANS EAT THE NARWHAL, AND USE THE IVORY TUSKS FOR TOOLS AND ART.

* THE MALE NARWHAL GROWS TUSKS. THE TUSKS CAN GROW UP TO 2-3 M (7-10)FT. LONG. THE TUSKS ARE THOUGHT TO ATTRACT FEMALE NARWHAL.

* FUN FACT #1
THE NARWHAL IS VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE DUE TO NARROW GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND DIET.

* FUN FACT #2
THE NARWHALE IS BORN DARK AND GETS WHITER IN COLOR WITH AGE.

* FUN FACT #3
NORWHALES, CONGRAGATE WITH 5 TO TEN OTHER INDIVIDUALS.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous 4-Alana Anderson said...

1)Habitat?
Seen in groups of twenty or thirty (males and females) They are found mostly in the Antarctic, Atlantic, and some parts of coastal Greenland.
2)Size?
length-10 to 20 feet, and about 1 ton.
3)Food source and predators?
Narwhals feed primarily on cod, but sometimes eat shrimp and cod as well.
4)Uses for humans? Tusks - who has them, how big are they, and function.
The length of the tusk is dependent on the whale and the age. Female narwhals tend to have smaller, straighter tusks compared to the males. The tusks are said to be an important part in the mating of narwhals where the males fight for dominance over the females. The tusks used to be used for tools, but now each tusk goes for about $5000 because they are so rare and are said to have magical powers. It is illegal to import whale products in the United States, so most customers come from Asia and Europe.
5)And three fun facts... :
a. The narwhal population is currently at around 40,000-50,000.
b. They spend their winters in packed ice where they thrive in small holes.
c. Narwhals are able to produce a calf once every three years.

 
At February 23, 2009 at 11:15 PM , Anonymous 4 - Jim Schade said...

habitat:atlantic and russian areas of arctic

size: 4-6m not including the tusk

weight: males - 1,600 kg females - 1,000 kg

food source: greenland halibut, polar and arctic cod, shrimp and gonatus squid

predators: polar bears and orcas

tusks: is an incisor tooth, projects from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left-handed helix, can be up to 3m long, weigh up to 10kg, one in 500 males has two tusks, females sometimes have tusks but it is rare.

3 fun facts :) :
1)In Inuit legend, the narwhal's tusk was created when a woman with a harpoon rope tied around her waist was dragged into the ocean after the harpoon had struck a large narwhal. She was transformed into a narwhal herself, and her hair twisted around in the water until it became the characteristic spiral narwhal tusk
2)all narwhals that have been brought into captivity in the past have only lived for a few months.
3)Some medieval Europeans believed narwhal tusks to be the horns from the legendary unicorn

 
At February 24, 2009 at 7:31 AM , Anonymous Kenny R. Per.4 said...

They have a body length of 4-6 m [13-16 ft.]Their food is composed of Greenland halibut, polar and Arctic cod, shrimp and Gonatus squid.The only predators of narwhals besides man are polar bears and orcas. Males have the tusks and the role of the tusk is as a secondary sexual characteristic.The average length of the tusks is 2-3 m (7-10 ft).

 
At February 24, 2009 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous 3- Daniel Cespedes said...

Nharwals
live in the icy waters of the Arctic seas. They rarely stray far from ice. In summer they infrequently enter estuaries, deep fjords, and bays. They are a blueish gray color and male narwhals can grow to be 16 ft and weigh about 1.8 tons! No one is really sure the use of their long tusk they are pretty certain that its not used for hunting. they eat fish, squid, and shrimp among other marine animals. these whales are hunted for their Ivory which is sold all over the world and for Muktuk whick is narwhal skin and blubber Considered a delicacy, muktuk is also a rich source of vitamin C in a land where fresh vegetables are flown in at high cost.

 
At February 24, 2009 at 6:28 PM , Anonymous 3-cgWert said...

Narwhal

*They live in teh cold artic water
*1.4-1.8 tons, 12-18 ft long
*food: fish,squid,shrimp and mamals
*Inuets eat them to pervent scurvy
*Tusks- upper teeth od the male spiraled together.7-10 ft long
.:fun facts:.
* they can dive to depts of least 800 meters (2,400 feet) and as low as 1,500 meters (4,500 feet).
*About one in 500 males has two tusks.
*In the middle ages they were hunted for ther horn to be sold as an"unicorn" horn

 
At February 24, 2009 at 7:40 PM , Anonymous 3 - McKenzie Campagna said...

Narwhal
Habitat: Arctic
Size: Males weigh up to 3500 lbs and females weigh up to 2200 lbs.
Food souce: Greenlands halibut, polar and Arctic cod, shripm, Gonatus squid.
Predators: Human beings, polar bears, orcas
Uses for humans: Food, bones for art/tools
Tusks: Males have them, up to 7-10 feet long, function is unknown
1. Some medieval Europeans believed narwhal tusks to be the horns from the legendary unicorn.
2. Vikings were able to sell them for gold many times their weight.
3. Queen Elizabeth received a carved and bejeweled narwhal tusk.

 
At February 26, 2009 at 10:17 AM , Blogger monica said...

Some cool things we learned about narwhals...They are whales found in the artic and they rarely stray far from the icy-edges into the open sea. A full grown male can weigh almost 2 tons and be about 16 feet long not even including its (up to) 10 foot long tusk, or tooth. That tusk protrudes from their upper lip and although not much is known about it's exact purpose it could be helpful on various occassions including...attracting a mate, self-defense, breaking through ice, obtaining food, & channeling sonar pulses! They are also very social animals and usually travel in pods like dolphins, and also communicate with each other with clicks and whistles. Eee Eeee...Their lifespan is about 50 yrs. While they prey on other fish and squid, they are also preyed upon! The list of predators include polar bears, orcas, sharks, walruses, & US =( !
The Inuit peoples use them as a source of vitamin C (so they won't get scurvy matey, Arrrrg) These "unicorns of the sea" are pretty sweeeeet =)

 

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