Sanskrit, wordplay, blowhole, brahmarandhra Shiva and Kundalini: A Whale Allegory

Shiva and Kundalini: A Whale Allegory

Copyright 2007, 2008 Richard Stoney, based on research started in early 1990's. My thanks to Robert Hellman, whaling expert, and paleontologist Philip Gingerich for their emails.


Shiva,the multi-faceted Hindu god, whose name is Sanskrit for "Auspicious".

Kundalini, Sanskrit for "Coil of Rope", a goddess known as a Shakti of Shiva. The Sanskrit word shakti means "power" and can also be used as the "energy or active power of a deity personified as his wife; the meaning of a word, that is, the relation of a word to the thing designated" (Monier-Williams, under s'akti). Therefore, the phrase Shakti of Shiva can be interpreted to represent the meaning of a "Shiva-word".

Sheave", English for "layer of a coil of rope", a whaling term. Oxford English Dictionary offers only one quote about it: "1840 F.D. Bennett Whaling Voy. II 198 It is coiled continuously, in two tubs, and in neat and compact horizontal layers, or 'sheaves'". In a whale boat's round tub, whale line is concentrically coiled (starting at its outermost edge) until it reaches the center. This is called a layer. This process continues until another layer is created. The net result is that there is one part of the coil laying on top of another. Shiva himself is known as Kundalin and has sex with Kundalini ("coil of rope"!). So since he is having sex with her, he is "laying" her, which makes him the layer of the coil of rope. Joke intended.

Knowledge of this word is obscure. I could find only one mention about the "coil of rope" connotation--in Oxford English Dictionary, which says it is related to Old Saxon sciva and Old High German sciba. This word also has additional, earlier meanings which will be mentioned soon. See Shiva-Shakti Pattern.


Note: Years ago, I saw a painting of Shiva with a whale either on the ground or in his hand, I forget which. At the time, it was confusing to me and made no sense, but now I understand it. It can better explain some of the serpent/whale allegories the reader will encounter in this thesis. I don't remember which book it was in, but I will add it to this article when I find it. Also there is fossil evidence of Basilosaurus, so named by western scientists who originally believed it was a serpent of sorts. Eventually they discovered it was actually a cetacean.


In her book, Kundalini: The Energy of the Depths, Lilian Silburn writes about the Awakening of Kundalini: "Surrounded by a circle of flames--a circle of his all-pervading glory--the Lord of dancers, spinning around around, carries along in his whirl the entire universe. The immobility of the vertical axis around which the movement is performed stands in contrast to the intensity of the gestures of the divine dancer. May we not recognize the controlled Kundalini in the stiff and horizontal Serpent King...;" It is a system of rhythms, churnings and vibrations. The vibration is said is said to dwell "in Conciousness like a wave in the ocean..." (Silburn, pp. 42-3). Her energy is an undulation of emanation with high-frequency vibration (Silburn, p. 6).

Silburn continues, "The subtle and supreme energy [of Kundalini] sleeps, coiled up in the manner of a snake... [After she awakens], this churning, going on inside the body of [Kundalini] must be performed with a continuous whirling movement until there appear dazzling sparks [=Shiva] just as the subtle energy [Kundalini] rises." As a result of the unifying friction between Shiva and Kundalini, spring forth various aspects of vibration and sound energy. This burning produces sparkles...when Kundalini [quickly] rises" (Silburn, pp. 42-3).

In Chapter LX ("The Line") of Moby Dick, Melville writes how the ropes in two round tubs on whaling boats are in a state of calm until a whale is harpooned and then all hell breaks loose: "Thus the whale-line folds the whole boat in its complicated coils, twisting and writhing about it in almost every direction. All the oarsmen are involved in its perilous contortions; so that to the timid eye of the landsman, they seem as Indian jugglers, with the deadliest snakes sportively festooning their limbs." Later on, Melville refers to the rope as "ringed lightnings."

Similarly in Whale ships and Whaling, Albert Cook Church writes, "So great is [the whale's] speed that the line shrieks and whistles as it burns into the loggerhead and rushes out through the chock at the bow...Water is thrown on the line to prevent its taking fire as it roars and groans from the terrific friction."

"The loggerhead itself was a stout, four or five inch, round oak or hickory post rising eight or nine inches above the center of the forward end of [a] strip, and the line from the harpoon was given one or more turns around it, when fast ["connected"] to a whale, to keep it from running out too freely" (Higgins, p. 12). The result is a groove burnt into the loggerhead.

The symbolic counterpart to the loggerhead, I believe, is the araNi, "turning around", a religious piece (or pieces) of wood which can be used in starting sacrificial fires as kindling. Sometimes they are used in pairs, using friction (Monier-Williams, Abhinavagupta).

Soon, the line leaves the whale boat through the chock, a passageway which is a groove or has a wheel-like unit at the bow/head of the boat. Kundalini, the rope, goes through channels known as sushumnas on their way to the body's chakras, "wheels", on the way to the head/brain.


The mythical serpent of the depths, Ahirbudhnya, is adopted in the Shaiva system in relation to Kundalini. Also, there are several modes of piercings (vedhas), one of which is called "of the serpent" in which the energy enters with lightning speed into the body (Silburn, pp. 17, 100). Then at the end of this same section regarding the subject of piercing, there is this passage: "Like an animal with a powerful tail, a great yogin, by exploding someone else's conduit [connected to sensory organs] curled up in his own conduit, can make even a siddha--an accomplished being endowed with supernatural powers--fall to the ground" (Silburn, pp. 100). In short, whales use their tails to cause havoc.


Elsewhere, Silburn writes about how a yogin (the serpent/whale in this case, I believe) suddenly experiences a startling "jump" of vibrations and downward forces (like a harpoon) with which he cannot identify. These sensations then spread throughout the body. And if there is another jump in quick succession, great trembling "like dust on the surface of the water" occurs, and he bounds. The trembling shakes off all limitations "just as one who shakes his hands in order to remove a sticky substance that clings to them". There is also mention of a "single-pointed yogin" (the harpoon?) and liberation from repeated rebirth--a liberation from the body, that is, death and ending up in Nirvana.

For those who doubt my interpretation, it is now important to note that Hindu author Abinavagupta used the word pluti, "a jump", in connectiion with these events. Pluti derives from the Sanskrit root plu, which means the following and casts light on this "whale" issue:

--"swim" (the whale);
--"go in a boat" (the whaler);
--"blow (like the wind)". The whale is often sighted by a water spray when it surfaces, hence the phrase "(Thar she) blows!" because of the forceful, outward breath generated by the lungs/wind";
--"jump upon, overwhelm";
--"remove, wash away (sin, guilt, harpoon)";
--"submerge" (the whale, to get away)".
--"vanish in degrees, pass away" (the rebirth cycle);

Yes, these are widely-differing definitions, but they come from A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon), a leader in its field, which occasionally suggests that some Sanskrit words are artificially "invented" for reasons of "poetic license". I suspect the same may have been done for this "whale hunt" scenario. Anyway, the preceeding is a good example of wordplay by the famed rhetorician Abhinavagupta. More on him later along with other examples of Sanskritic wordplay in this matter.


Kundalini is closely assocated with Ahir Budhnya, "serpent of the depths". "During a vedic ritual the sacrificial seat of the brahmin priest [=brahma], endowed with 'unfathomable knowledge', is thus addressed: "Thou art an all-encompassing ocean..., Thou art the serpent of the oceanic depths'" (Silburn2, p. 16). Consider these Sanskrit words as wordplay on Ahirbudhnya's name:

--root ah, "to address, call (by name)";
--root Ir, "proclaim";
--ahir/ahi, "serpent";
--root buD, "cover[s]. The single letter transliterated as dh is replaced by D;
--nya, "an ocean in the Brahma-loka" ["Brahma's-place"]. This defintion will be broken in two pieces thus: "ocean" and "Brahma's place" (i.e., his seat).

Now secondly, by rearranging the order of the above definitions, one obtains wordplay which copies the paragraph mentioned above about the brahmin's activities:

"address, the brahma's place, call by name, proclaim, [that the] serpent, cover[s] ("encompasses"), ocean".

Immediately following her quote mentioned above, Silburn writes (p. 16), "Poet and mystics...kept the science related to these ancient divinities so secret that its key was lost, even at the time of the Rg Veda".

"This mysterious serpent of the abyss is often invoked with Aja EkapAd [also Aja EkapAda]...from whom it does not differ" (Silburn, p. 16).

So the serpent and Aja Ekapad are the same, basically. More on this follows soon.

The standard translation of this Sanskrit name goes as follows:

--aja, "unborn";
--eka, "one";
--pAda, "foot".

But for the purposes of this matter, I prefer this related translation:

--aja, "uncreated, unformed" (same word as above);
--eka, "one" (same word);
--1) pada, "footstep; trace, vestige"; 2) pAda, "foot; foot or leg of an inanimate object; fourth part of a quadruped".
"Unformed one-foot-vestige".

"[There was] the report of whalers from Vancouver Island who killed a humpback female in 1919 and found a two-foot-long stub emerging from its flank close to its tail. From the outside, it looked like a baseball bat resting on a hill, and after it was dissected, it was shown to be a series of bones and bumps of cartilage that extended four feet into the body. The cartilage had shrunk by the time zoologists examined it, but they were still able to make out homologies between the pieces and mammal leg bones such as the femur, the tibia and parts of the ankle and foot" (Zimmer, p. 148).

In an online "reprint" of Creation magazine, Carl Wieland (a creationist) writes, commenting on an article by Robert Bakker: "And every once in a while a modern whale is hauled in with a hind leg with thigh and knee muscles sticking out of its side. These atavistic hind legs are nothing less than a throwback to a totally pre-whale stage of their existence." Other similar examples have surfaced, including bumps which support genitals.

On the subject of atavisms, Zimmer writes on page 173, "...The stub of a whale leg is of [an old] pedigree, and reveals a...way in which things disappear. The quadrupedal anestors of whales built their limbs withe help of some Hox genes, but these genes are also involved in many other tasks--patterning the rear third of their backbone, for example, as well as their genitals. To get rid of their hind legs, you can't simply silence these genes because in the process you'd wreck their front legs (which became flippers), not to mention the back third or so of their body and their repoductive system. The development of a whale embryo shows how evolution chose a gentler course. Like other mammals, whales have a full complement of Hox genes that shape their spine as well as their four limb buds, the front pair of which continue growing into fins. The back pair get as far as forming bits of cartilage before the cell-killing program in the genes...gets an early start on them and kills the buds back to nothing. If a whale is born with a mutation that somehow weakens or delays the effect of the leg-killing genes, crude versions of limbs may form in much the same way they did 40 million years ago".

There have been suggestions that these "legs" are actually bone irregularities, and maybe so, maybe not. Either way, they have been viewed, at least, as "legs", and that will suffice for this discussion.

As mentioned earlier, Kundalini is associated with Ahirbudhnya, "Serpent of the Depths", who does not differ from Aja EkapAd. Well, there happens to be another mythological Hindu character also known as Aja EkapAd, who is linguistically different from the "serpent" Aja EkapAd, although we shall soon that they are connected. This second Sanskrit name usually translates thus:

--aja, "goat";
--eka, "one";
--pAd, "foot".
"The One-Footed Goat".

Personally, I suspect that the following wordplay is the intended goal:

--aja, "goat";
--eka, "the one and the same" (same word as above);
--pAdodara, "serpent". It is related, sic, to various pad/pAd, "foot", words (Monier-Williams).

"Goat-Same-as-Serpent". So we have two identically-looking Aja EkapAds, one referring to the goat, the other to the serpent. Let's now see how they relate to all of this "whale" matter.

According to current paleontological hypotheses, using scientific evidence and technology such as DNA sequencing, whales evolved from land-based mammals known as artiodactyls ("even-hoofed"), a group of mammals which includes goats, deer, pigs, etc. Therefore, the "goat" is the same as the serpent/whale. A type of Hippo is also a member of this group and is the leading candidate considered nowadays to be the most-immediate predecessors of whales, according to genetic testing and research performed circa 1990 by Philip Gingerich et al. Scientific knowledge in Abhinavagupta's day would not have been able to ascertain this information in this fashion, relying instead on observation. But it is perhaps important to note that the mythology involving Kundalini is from the tantric era, from Skt. tantra, the definitions of which include >"doctrine,scientific work, a chapter of any such work". A Sanskrit-English Dictionary does list three words for "hippopotamus".

The Atharva Veda states that Aja Ekapad is associated with cosmic evolution. "Being of the nature of the Sun, which provides life and light, Aja Ekapada is without any objective existence while it sustains the entire creation. It is the unpolarized latent creative agent which produces the differrent levels of existence. Rohit [a similar deity like Aja Ekapada] contains within himself ever-changing impulses without which the various dimensions of manifestation would remain abstract, ethereal and non-existent. The role of Aja Ekapada is to concretize this 'essence' of manifestation into the unpolarized cell, which subsequently assumes many forms at the different levels of creation". Aja Ekapada energizes all life-forms, differentiates them, and provides warmth and nourishment so they may complete their journeys. (Behari, p. 245). Similarly, Kundalini represents evolutionary processes which may take a short time or not complete itself in one lifetime. an important factor involved in all this is the desire for the eventual communion with the divine (Cousens, p. 24).

"The impulse flowing through Purva Bhadra [an astrological sign], over which Aja Ekapada presides, stands at the border of manifestation on one side and the state of latency on the other. It is an energy which can be expressed both in an upward and downward movement" (Behari, p. 246). Like a whale's tail.

There is the related story in which Shiva, as the one-footed goat, stands on one leg for several hundred thousand years.

Then there is another astrological sign, Uttara Bhadra, which is taken together with Purva Bhadra. They consist of four stars, two for each. And there is much interchange between the two. Ahirbudhnya presides over Uttara Bhadra and suggests the circularity of creation in its cyclic motions (Behari, pp. 248-9).


Out of whimsical suspicion, I decided to dissect the name of Abhinavagupta, a famous Hindu author, who is often quoted in relation to Kundalini:

--ab, "water". (Note: The English letters bh represent the transliteration of one Sanskrit letter);
--ina, "lord; lunar mansion". The lunar mansion is often mentioned in the mythology of Kundalini and is presided over by Aja EkapAd;
--vag, a compound form of the word vAc, "speech, language";
--gupta, "kept secret; concealed".

Yes, there are other possible combinations. but they resulted in gibberish. Based on random chance, I should not have been able to come as close as I did, regardless of any partial imperfections in my interpretation.

In an online on Abhinavagupta (ca. 950-1015 a.d.), Professor K.N. Dhar writes that Abhinavagupta has been extolled for his unequivocal versatility in philosophy, dramaturgy, literature and rhetoric. "His command over rhetorics was so enthralled that Mammatta [an author] out of veneration for his erudition in the subject refers to him as 'Abhinavagupta Pada'. Pada [italics mine] is added to the names to show great respect...Vamana the propounder of Riti school of Indian Rhetorics...has referred to Abhinavagupta as 'an intellectual giant and like a serpent (terror) to his young school-fellows'".

On this matter, Silburn does write the following:

--"From these [just-mentioned] stanzas, which Abhinavagupta deliberately made obscure, their contents being, he says, too secret to be revealed..." Elsewhere Silburn remarks on Abhinavagupta's comment that the matter of conciousness and emission "remains in deep secrecy and should not be given any form of elucidation" (pp. 149, 152).

Silburn says that the "mysterious energy aroused by Kundalini yoga manifests with a violence beyond belief and cannot be manipulated without incurring certain risks." Various ailments could come and go. "When this is the case, one can better understand why the S'aiva masters have...kept all these practices shrouded in mystery" (p. xiii).

The Blowhole

There is warm, humid mucus in the blowpipe of a whale. When it breathes out (very quickly and focefully, upward to the top of the head), its air joins with the mucus to form a mist of sorts. When it exits the blowhole, it acts as any "moist" gas would when encountering a cooler environment: it condenses into a misty "cloud" which is easily visible (Dumont, Marion, p. 18).

Whales do not breath through their mouths as land mammals do, simply because there is no connection between the mouth and the lungs. Instead they use their blowhole/nostrils. That helps explain the following analogy:

When writing about Kundalini and her relation to breathing, Silburn states that "the moon of the brahmarandhra [at the top of the head] distils the cool nectar when Kundalini, reaching the summit of her ascent, attains the void". Then there is mention of some obscure stanzas:

"Two breathings are there, both taking their rise in the City of the Bulb.
Why then is hah cold, and hAh hot?" The answer is:
"The region of the navel [i.e. lower down] is by nature fiery hot.
Thence proceedeth thy vital air, rising to thy throat [blowpipe], (and issueth from they mouth [blowhole] as hAh).
When it meeteth the river flowing from the Brahma-randhra (it issueth from thy mouth as hah),
And therefore hah is cold, and hAh is hot".

According to Silburn, it is the brahma-randhra, found at the top of the head, which the source of coolness (Silburn, pp. 44-5). Now, the usual definition of brahma-randhra is "Brahma's-Opening". I suggest that there is some wordplay involved. Consider instead the following alternative:

--bhrama, "roving through; whirling flame; watercourse, fountain";
--randhra, "an opening or hole".


"Air has a very different density from that of a mammal's body. Sounds usually reach the auditory nerve only through the ears, which allow for stereoscopic hearing. Water, however, has a density close to that of the body. {As a result] a mammal normally cannot pinpoint the origin of sounds because they are spread directly through it, reaching the auditory nerves simultaneously from all directions. Whales have overcome this problem by developing both a pneumatic cavity [void?] isolating the auditory region from the rest of the skull and a tympanic bubble [cf. Eng. bulla, "bulb", from Latin for "bubble"] with a very high density that acts inside tissue as would an ear trumpet in the open air. Since the internal ears are separated from each other by their peribular sinuses, and the tympanic bubbles receive sound waves independently from each side of the skull, hearing, although under water, once again becomes "directional" (Dumont and Marion, pp. 15-6).

The whistles, clicks, squawks, moans, "grinds", "explosions", "pops", "jaw-claps" (articulated not by the teeth but more internally in the head), brays, growls, purrs, whoops, screams, "ratchetings", etc. "are produced in a series of sacs in the soft tissue below the blowhole (=nostril) in the [whale's] head. Pressurized air is forced up past a muscular tonguelike plug into a sac below the blowhole. The higher-frequency sounds are directed forward and out of the head through the dolphin's melon, a waxy lens-shaped body in the forehead. Lower-frequency sounds are less focused." (Connor Peterson, p. 80).

"A single click of a sperm whale is actually a series of pulses of decreasing loudness...It was originally thought that the sound blast was directed right out into the water. However, Bertl Mohl and Mats Amundin, both accoustics experts, made recordings of the sounds of a large sperm whale that suggest the initial pulse is actually directed in toward the skull". (Connor, Peterson, p. 80). In short, it is a "closed system".

"The sounds produced by whales serve two purposes for whales--communicating and helping them perceive their surrroundings using echolocation" (Dumont and Marion, p. 16). This system allows the whale to send out emissions--a sort of "sonar"--some emissions of which bounce off living creatures or objects and then return to the whale, whereupon it interprets the results and becomes concious of its surroundings.

Silburn writes on page 94 about another sort of "piercing", one related to the word nAda, which means "loud sound, nasal sound; any tone." She says it is synonymous with these words:

--dhvanI, "sound, echo, voice, tune";
--anAhata, which refers to a sound which is "unstruck, intact; not multiplied". Some whale sounds are termed "pulsed" while others are "unpulsed".

Silburn writes that this piercing "is... brought about by the upward push of the resonance according to the process of creation [Nature, evolution?]...; through this spontaneous resonance, let the master [God, Natural Law?] enter the disciple's conciousness. This is what is called piercing through mystic [God?] resonance". Then Silburn refers to "of the mAlinI ['confusion'?]going from NA to PHA". Consider these different Sanskrit words:

--Na, the cerebral nasal (phonetics);
--Na, "knowledge; sound of negation";
--na, the dental nasal (phonetics);
--na, "unbroken". Many species of toothed whales emit unpulsed or continuous signals known as whistles. (Connor, Peterson, p. 81).
--pha, "idle speech (i.e., unpulsed?); bursting with a popping sound; bubbling; an angry sound". In whales, an explosive, loud exhalation through the blowhole produces bubbles and indicates some sort of disturbed mental state. (Connor and Peterson, p. 91).

Silburn continues: "The inner sound, similar to the sound perceived when the ears are stopped [muted, low-frequency or in a closed system?], first arises in the median way of the guru, and moves up to his heart or his brahmarandhra [at the top of the head]--as both have now become one. At the same moment it spontaneously enters the body of the disciple [whale, an outside fish?], whose breath is coverted into resonance, anacka [wordplay?, no such word]. The latter then moves down from the heart up to the brahmarandra, piercing the wheels [something round or sac?] which vibrate one after the other, and the disciple becomes aware of the course of this mystic resonance [the fish?]."

Whales use echolocation for looking for mating partners. According to Silburn, Abhinavagupta comments on the significance of the "word" SAUH with regards to sex. It is the all-present, all-pervasive dhvani, which is non-manifested (unheard by humans?), but this resonance can be traced to the amorous call emanating from the throat of a woman in love (Silburn, p. 152).

"When [southern right whale] males were gathered together, they growled, presumably out of competition for a nearby female. After one of two competing males left the area, the growls were transformed into high-pitched melodic sounds that rose in frequency as the excitement level increased" (Connor and Peterson, p. 89

In a different section on dhvani, "sound vibration", Silburn describes how the yogin, with the help of sound, should perform japa ("repeating in a muttering tone some scriptural passages") in the form of different laksa, "objects to aim at; targets". Japa recitation entails three laksa of 100,000 recitations each. The 300,000 recitations result in conciousness with the simultaneous joining of emergence (the sound wave), quiescence (sound waves which don't bounce back) and fusion (joining the results) (Silburn, p. 198).

On the matter of a dolphin's inner ear (this may also apply to whales), Arthur N. Popper covers evolutionary adaptations for high- frequency sound detection and processing. "The number of hair cells [is] approximately the same as in man (about 17,000 vs. about 15,000 for man), but the ganglion cell [to] hair cell ratio is 5:1 [85,000] in Tursiops...and 4:1 [68,000] in Lagenorhynchus....[It is suggested] that the large number of ganglion cells in the dolphin reflects an increased number of neutral [neural?] paths for transmission of high-frequency information to the brain..." (p. 27). The point is that Silburn often uses the number "72,000" on a few occasions when talking about "energy channnels".

The analogy to this can be found by Silburn's comments on how the guru (Nature, God?) uses the energy of s'aktavedha, which is another sort of piercing, to enter the disciple (the yogin, whale) through sensory channels and focus conciousness on the bulb (the melon or ear of the whale, I assume). The guru then "uses the five organs of action, the eight organs of cognition, and the tuft of hair in order to unite the selected center with this conciousness" (Silburn, p. 99). Several passageways for sound have to the middle ear have been proposed (Popper, p. 28).


When a sperm whale dies, it often emits ambergris, a waxy substance found in its intestines. It floats ashore and is used in production of perfumes. Silburn depicts Shiva on a throne to be adored as the Departed One, with offferings of perfume and flowers to the supreme goddess (pp. 82-3).


"Free-nerve endings, which in other mammals may function as mechanoreceptors, pain receptors, or thermoreceptors...are densely packed in the skin of the bottlenosed dolphin" (Herman, p.156). The areas of receptors are found around the snout, nipple, and the genital regions (Herman, p. 156). Similarly, on the matter of genitals, Silburn writes how the knots [sic] burst open and bliss envelops the body through 72,000 "channels" (nerves, I believe). Finally vIrya, "semen", spurts from the bulb (genitals), and this virile potency spreads through the median way to the brahmarandhra at the top of the head (p. 114). There seems to be another play on words. Consider, instead, bhrama, "whirling flame; watercourse; fountain"; randhra, "opening".


On page 31 of Kundalini: Energy of the Depths, there is mention of a mark or place which represents virility and strength. It is located between the brows and "explodes and expands" [i.e., "erupts and grows", as I see it] giving birth to the skull. Then there is mention of a bell-shaped opening at the base of the linga and is compared to an elephant tusk. Is it considered a tusk because of its ivory color or because of its powerful piercing?

"Teeth modified for fighting are commonly found in the Ziphiidae...With the exception of Tasmacetus shepherdi, the ziphiids are characterized by the abscence of all but one or two pairs of mandibular teeth. These "battle teeth", as they have been called, erupt around the time of sexual maturity in males. ...From patterns of scarring, it appears that males employ thweir teeth in tusklike fashion, thrusting at each other with closed mouths, producing single or parallel scars on their victims" (Connor, Read and Wrangham, p. 251).

What follows next in Silbun is mostly obscure and confusing due to difficulty in translating the word s'ankhini/zaGkhini, I admit. But then there is mention of the yogin's/disciple's mouth that half-opens on its own accord. Well, it so happens that "[s]ome species have have highly unusal anatomical structures, such as the teeth of the male strap-toothed whale (Mesoplodon layardii), which grow over the upper jaw and prevent the jaw from opening more than a centimeter or so" (Tyack, Connor, Mann et al, p. 337). Another source, unknown, says the space is actually about about ten centimeters.

I suppose that Hyperoodon ampullatus could also be considered. Cf. Latin ampulla, "round bottle; small dilation in a canal/duct, esp. semicircular canal of the ear", by virtue of the "bells" and mention of "moon circles".

originally, I thought that the narwhal would be the subject of this "tusk" section. I have since rejected that idea for the following reasons. First, there is no mention in Silburn of any unique spiralling on the tusks--as is the case of the narwhal's tooth, up to nine feet long, nor that it is prone to breaking off in battle. Secondly, the narwhal is native to northern Canada, far away from India. That might be true unless this "whale" matter before us is world-wide. Mesoplodon Layardii can be found in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. Also the narwhal is difficult to observe amongst the ice floes, according to sources.


There are two references in Silburn with regards to the stomach of a fish (pp. 58, 170). However, I fail to see any connection to the Biblical story about Jonah and the whale.



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