Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Walrus

Walruses are the frat boys of the animal kingdom. They are like a herd of unruly blubber boys on spring break in Myrtle Beach.

They are "extremely sociable, prone to loudly bellowing and snorting at one another, but are aggressive during mating season," states National Geographic.


Perhaps when you hang out in the Arctic Circle on blocks of ice you need a party and walruses certainly know how to play and fight. You mess with them at your peril. Walruses have only two main predators - Polar bears and Orca whales, and even Polar bears have been known to limp away in pain after a tusk has been shoved where the sun don't shine.

Walruses can grow very large with some oversized Pacific males weighing as much as 4,400 pounds.

Tusks play a rather important part in the life of a walrus. They are not just for tusking Polar Bears up the backside.

 
Here walruses take part in ice island Survivor


Walruses use them to haul their enormous bodies out of frigid waters, giving them  their "tooth-walking" label, and to break breathing holes into ice from below. Their tusks can extend to about three feet and males and females have them.

Despite their size and sometimes aggressive nature walruses have been powerless against the actions of hunters and numbers have decreased.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the walrus was heavily exploited by sealers, almost to the point of extinction. . Commercial walrus harvesting is now outlawed although some indigenous people are permitted to kill them in small numbers.

Traditional hunters used all parts of the walrus which served as a kind of Arctic Wal-Mart.  The meat, often preserved, is an important winter nutrition source; flippers were fermented and stored as a delicacy until spring; bone and tusks were used for tools, as well as material for handicrafts; the oil was used for warmth and light and the tough hide made rope and house and boat coverings. Even the intestines and guts had a use as they were made into made waterproof parkas.

The warlus appears in opular culture. The "walrus" in the odd Beatles song I Am the Walrus is a reference to the Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus and the Carpenter.

Useless Fact About the Walrus

Their moustaches are in no way linked to a Village People audition. Walruses use their extremely sensitive whiskers, called mustacial vibrissae, as detection devices for tasty raw shellfish delicacies.

What Not to Say to a Walrus

Want to come shopping for parkas?

18 comments:

  1. Haha I love thinking of walruses as frat boys. Nothing wrong with a good party on the ice.

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    1. as long as the champagne is on ice and nobody gets tusked Julie...

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  2. LOL I like your description of walruses as frat boys too. Very true when I think about the documentaries I've seen.

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    1. I know right Partricia, these are badly behaved slobs.

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    1. couldn't have said it better myself JoJo

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  4. WalrusMart. There we go. Ha!

    That second paragraph sounded a lot like the description of any bar with sports on tv and a crowd of men. ;)

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    1. oh you have been to AJ Gators too Jean :)

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  5. Ha ha blubber boys, I like it. I went to sea world the other day and saw some ugly looking walrus, can you do some more attractive animals?

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    1. well I'll see what I can do Rowena but am running out of time. Tigers were...

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  6. Fermented flippers--eww! Hahaha! I think I'd have to say no thanks to that dish.

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    1. you couls have it with chips at a fish and chip shop I knew in Yarmouth Daisy lol

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  7. Blubber boys...love it. I'm with Daisy on having to pass on the fermented flippers. Sounds pretty gross lol.

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    1. glad you do Tracy - add some tabasco - it's great :)

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  8. My goodness, 4400 pounds? Has anyone suggested Jenny Craig? It helped Kirstie Alley.

    xoRobyn

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    1. was Kristie Alley 4400 pounds Robyn? Quite likely xo

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  9. Their moustaches are in no way linked to a Village People audition. Hahahahaha!

    I'm not a fan of Walruses David and this is why: They're nasty to penguins and they look like giant slugs.

    David - the end is nigh and I could almost cry with happiness...

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    1. Oh they like to p..pick up a penguin Juliette - quite likely - um well of you will write a novel for each post :)

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