Life-size model of a male narwhal (National Museum of Natural History)
The narwhal, with its unique spiral tusk, has inspired legend in Inuit society and fascinated people across cultures for centuries. A current exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum dives deep into the narwhal's Arctic world to explore what makes this mysterious animal and its changing ecosystem so important. Through first-hand accounts from scientists and Inuit community members, the exhibition reveals how traditional knowledge and experience, coupled with scientific research, heighten our understanding of these animals— and our changing global climate.
After private tour of the exhibit, experts explore the legends and the natural history of these striking animals. Delve into the narwhal’s fabled connection to the unicorn; new research on the species, including drone footage that seems to show them stunning fish with their tusks; and learn about that extraordinary tusk able to sense its environment and constructed in a unique way.
9:30 a.m. Exhibition Tour
Private viewing of Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend; participants can purchase the exhibition catalog at a discounted price.
10 a.m. The Narwhal’s World
William Fitzhugh, director, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, and curator, Museum of Natural History, and Martin Nweeia, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and assistant professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.
11 a.m. The Stuff of Legend: Narwhal and the Unicorn
Barbara Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock senior curator, the Met Cloisters
12 p.m. Lunch (participants bring their own)
1 p.m. Latest Research
Marianne Marcoux, research scientist, Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans
2 p.m. The Narwhal Tusk
Meet at the Natural History Museum's
Madison Dr entrance. The program will continue
at the S. Dillon Ripley Center.