Thursday, May 17, 2007
Ride the walrus
I propose that the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) and the elephant seal (Mirounga spp.) fight to the death to determine which is rightfully King of the Pinnipeds.
Elephant seals are certainly mean when they're hauled out; however, anecdotal evidence from Inuit kayak hunters suggests that walrus are mean pretty much all the time. Maybe both species respect and avoid each other, and as such divided the world's oceans at a time immemorial: the high Arctic belongs to the walrus, while more temperate oceans in both hemispheres are the domain of the elephant seal.
Attempts at satellite tracking of walrus migration by a Danish research time suggest that walrus value their privacy.
The BBC seems to have a walrus fetish. Consider the plethora of walrus journalism from the UK: