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walrus
Any walrus yet?
Not Many Walrus Yet!

Hi NVMS!!  

 

We have NOT seen walrus yet- well, a couple people saw 1 or 2, but we're still waiting to come across the herd, which will be HUGE.  They really like ice that is broken up, and we're in their normal area, but the ice is SOLID- hardly any cracks.  The walrus really like big floating pieces of ice, which isn't around here right now for some reason, probably because it is so cold, the water is freezing into one big sheet of ice!!  We have a couple of walrus "experts" on the ship who are keeping their eye out for them and will let us know when they see any.  They think that the walrus have moved north, to a place where the ice is more broken up.  I'm thinking we'll see them, just not right now.  I promise I'll send pictures when I see them!!  We watched an interesting movie about walrus the other day- some interesting facts:

 

Both males and females have tusks

They don't use their tusks for eating- they do use them for fighting, and they also use them to anchor themselves to the ice when they sleep (so their in the water sleeping, anchored to the ice)

Their skin changes color when they've been in the water a long time- because they can move the blood away from their skin and closer to their heart and internal organs- once they get out in the sun and warm up, they go from a pale pink to a dark brown.

They only have one predator- polar bears- even though they outweigh the polar bears by many many pounds!  Usually the polar bear tries to go after the babies if they can get to them.

 

Thanks for the great question- keep them coming!!