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Narwhals



Narwhals

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    grey-colored, mattak, cylindrical, migratory, social, orcas, corpse, narwhal, narwhals, magical, valuable, layer, spiral, splotchy, length, upper
     content words:    Old Norse


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Narwhals
By Sheri Skelton
  

1     Narwhals are whales that live in the Arctic all year. Their cylindrical bodies have a layer of blubber to help them stay warm. Narwhals don't have baleen to strain water to obtain food. Instead they grab food with their jaws. They eat fish, shrimp, and squid. Narwhals have two teeth. Both teeth are in the narwhal's upper jaw.
 
2     The narwhal is often called the unicorn of the sea. That is because the male narwhal has one very long tooth, or tusk, that grows straight up through its upper lip. The spiral tusk is made out of ivory. The average length of the tusk is seven to ten feet. No one knows for certain what the tusk is used for. Narwhals have been observed rubbing their tusks together. This activity is called "tusking." Many years ago narwhal tusks were sold as unicorn horns. People would pay lots of money for the tusks, which were believed to contain magical powers.
 
3     Narwhals have a remarkable diving ability. They have been known to dive over 2,000 feet deep into the water. They have been recorded making this dive not once, but as many as 15 times in one day! Making a dive like this takes a narwhal about 25 minutes.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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