The Walrus

Pacific Walrus, Portrait, Bull, Head

When vacationers arrive on their polar vacations expecting to find a myriad distinct creatures, among the animals that necessarily makes the’top three’ list is the Walrus – and though it might seem difficult to believe without seeing these impressive animals in the flesh, there are loads of reasons for this high esteem. The Walrus is a fascinating creature in its own physical appearance, customs, and even in how it became an integral force in the mythology and culture of the surrounding communities, who hunted the walrus because of its meat, fat, tusks, and bone. Visitors expecting to catch a glimpse of those animals will be well rewarded – after all, with their size, they are pretty difficult to miss!

Undoubtedly one of the most fascinating qualities you’ll notice about the Walrus throughout your polar vacations is the giant monsters’ tusks. Believe it or not, these elongated canines can attain lengths of up to a metre in both females and males – even though you may not be able to get close enough to measure them from tip to gum! The tusks are usually larger among men, where they are used for fighting and dominance displays. Whatever the sex of Walrus, however, their tusks come in handy in their everyday life – like to make holes in icehockey, or to assist in dragging prey from the sea and on a solid surface.

As a result of the great bulk and intimidating tusks, the Walrus enjoys a life of relative safety from predators. It only needs to be concerned about two creatures hungry for a Walrus bite – the Orca, and the Polar Bear. Fortunately, however, the Walrus is not a huge portion of predator’s diet, meaning that there are always plenty around to see in your polar vacations.

The Walrus features prominently in the faith and folklore of many Arctic communities. In one version of the folktale’Myth of the Raven’ (where Raven recovers the stolen moon and sun from a soul by seducing his daughter), the father hurls the girl from a high cliff in retribution, and as she plummets to the water she transformed to the first Walrus. According to legend, the tusks were initially formed from the tears of the crying girl. However, the Walrus has also featured in more contemporary stories throughout the world – these two distinctive tusks which makes them an instantly familiar creature, whether on polar vacations or in the pages of an illustrated children’s book. Among the most significant examples is from Lewis Carrol’s poem,’The Walrus and the Carpenter’, which appeared in his seminal’Throughout the Looking-Glass’, in 1871.

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