Walrus

These guys!

We observed roughly 50 large walruses — heaped in a giant, fragrant “pig pile” on the beach. They were enjoying the slow motion rhythm of eating and resting/digesting (stinky!).

Their tusks are actually very long canine teeth….much like an elephant’s (reminding me of my elephant cognition research in Thailand). They use them to pull their enormous bodies out of the water and to poke holes in the ice to breathe (like ice picks!). Their bristly whiskers are very sensitive and they use them to locate their favorite delicacy deep down on the dark ocean floor: clams!

Photo: Michael S. Nolan

Photo: Michael S. Nolan

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins