It’s said that, in centuries past, the spiral tusks of narwhals were regarded as proof of the existence of unicorns. Marine biologists studying this elusive cetacean today are discovering that this “horn” – in fact, an overgrown tooth – has ingenious if not magical properties. The tusks of living narwhals are surprisingly flexible and incorporate a system of nerves that can detect temperature, pressure and motion.
In 2000, a team of scientists led by Dr. Martin Nweeia traveled to the Arctic to learn more about this fabulous beast and its extraordinary sense organ, and Dr. Nweeia has been devoting his career to unraveling those mysteries ever since. Joseph Meehan, who once taught at Dutchess Community College, has served as expedition photographer/documentarian over the past decade. He’ll be giving an illustrated lecture sponsored by the Rosendale Library on Wednesday, titled “Land and People of the Arctic.”
Meehan will take his audience on a visual journey through stunning landscapes of the High Canadian Arctic and Greenland, sharing candid portraits of Inuit hunters whose knowledge reflects generations of survival in the north (and was also instrumental to Dr. Nweeia’s narwhal research). This free presentation begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26 and takes place at the Rosendale Community Center, located at 1055 Route 32 in Rosendale. To find out more, call (845) 658-9013 or visit www.rosendalelibrary.org.
Arctic narwhal expedition talk, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m. Free, Rosendale Community Center, 1055 Rte. 32, Rosendale, (845) 658-9013, www.rosendalelibrary.org