December 2008

Blainville's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon densirostris)

Whale's teeth a show-off to impress the girls

"They are the only cetacean species with tusks, and scientists have long wondered why, since their diet primarily is squid."

Scientists have now used DNA analysis to show the teeth probably evolved as secondary sexual traits to help females select males of the right species.

The shape of the teeth, or tusks, varies markedly between different species.

In some, they actually appear to hinder feeding, as they wrap over the upper jaw, preventing it from opening fully.

Do whales like jazz?

Interspecies was started in 1978, to grant artists the same access to wilderness and wild animals that is usually reserved for field biologists. Their goal and belief is that science is not the only approach to understanding nature. During the 1980s, Interspecies sponsored over 100 musicians to attempt communication with orcas off western Canada.