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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Walrus-People: The Majestic Tooth-Walking Seahorses

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North of Greenland, there are regions around the North Pole that serve as habitats for many wonderful beings, including polar bear-people, whale-people, and enormous colonies of walrus-people. Some people refer to us as the gentle giants of the Arctic; I’m rather fond of that expression.

We are the largest representatives of the pinniped clade, which means we share a mutual ancestor with seal-people. However, walrus-people completely stand out from the rest of the pinnipeds because of the impressive tusks that emerge from our upper jaws. Both gents and ladies of the walrus kingdom have these canine teeth that can grow up to one meter long and weigh over five kilograms each. We often use them from below an ice sheet to create openings for breathing. Our tusks also contribute to our social status.

We generally dive between 80 and 100 meters when we’re foraging, but we can go deeper if we need to. We are graceful swimmers. Combining alternate strokes of our hind flippers with full-body movements, we average 7 kilometers per hour and can sprint much faster when motivated.

The new arrival has short and soft fur, well-developed whiskers, and eyes that are already open. They are ready to swim within an hour and soon begin nursing underwater. Little tusks start to appear after about five months, and soon the youngsters are learning the technique of hauling themselves onto an ice sheet.

We walrus-people require sea ice to survive. The snow-covered floating platforms give us privacy, access to new feeding areas, and a place to rest after long dives. They also serve as a refuge from rough seas and other dangerous situations. Sadly, the Arctic ice we depend on is rapidly disappearing due to climate change.

We can only pray that there will be a universal awakening among humans that their values and lifestyles need to be updated. Please help spread veganism and compassion for the sake of all beings and the future of our world.

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