We are not all made the way we’d like to be. I’m a hybrid now through and through. The long and strong telomeres of my species, oh so superior to other whales. No one ever talks about us in that way. We are just the small cousins, the less spectacular blowers of pressured air, but nonetheless quite unique with out spiral tusks.
Dentally, you might say we are, well outstanding! Our tusked selves mythologised long before titanium implants graced the smiles of cinemas. Then into the weathered jaws of wealthy travellers. More recently sports stars and the general social democratic public of Scandinavia. My spiral is one of nature’s instruments of measurement. It assists me in my dives and in sensing pressure and temperature. But it’s one of a kind. A sensory device, a sense making cultural landscape tool. Dipping through the icy seas but now also airborne when I flip my tail and fly out into the sunny skies, the northern lights my favourite camouflage.
I am augmented, in the language of today. But over half a century now since those two crazy Cold War scientists in this secret pact cross the border experimented speculatively. Nuclear power. No one knows how it worked, and I’m destined to swim for more than an extra half (narwhal) life’s worth or more. Not too long ago a research article reported on one of us as reaching the ripe age of 115! We are talking one of us females!
I’m likely to see some climate changes, living through a changing climate is my destiny. It is only to day that it’s dawned on me, a cold new day it was, that I might live to be over two centuries old. That’s quite a sobering thought, icy waters meltingly warmer, our habitat more exposed. Species threat perhaps.