Friday, December 16, 2011

The Mountain Walrus: Nature's Only Terrestrial Walrus

The Mountain Walrus is the only terrestrial species that belongs to the Odobenidae family that is separate from the Odobenus rosmarus (the common walrus which has three subspecies). Being unable to swim, their "flippers" are mainly used for grabbing prey sources and they only travel by sinuous whole body movements similar to how ocean walrus move along the beaches. The Mountain Walrus' "flippers" have thicker bones in their front "flippers" that allow them to grab more efficiently and both sets (front and back) allows them to waddle for short distances. Both males and females have tusks but, the males have a second smaller set behind their main tusks. Males mainly use them for protecting their territory, warding off predators and "peacocking" (means for attraction a mate). Being carnivorous, the Mountain Walrus eats smaller animals such as squirrels and raccoons even though they're bulkier/larger. The weirdest part about the Mountain Walrus is that they're actually more agile and faster than what they appear. They're favorite past time is either sun bathing on warm rocks or cooling off in the shady forests nearby their underground dens. Their natural environment is just below the tree lines of mountain scopes, although they will descend further into the forests if food becomes scarce enough. They extremely hate water and while it rains, all Mountain walruses stay in their water-protective dens to wait out the storm.

During mating season, the solitary Mountain Walrus travels in small groups in which they socialize in finding a mate. Once the infants are born the males leave the herd to allow the cows to raise their young in nearby caves or dens which are form as shelters for housing their defenseless young from predators while hunting. After reaching to a mature age, the females leave their young to defend on their own. The Mountain Walrus are known to be located in the states of California and Washington of the West Coast. They're also known to travel to Nevada into the deserts for unknown reasons and can be found in Yosemite National Park.
Being an endangered species due to logging and over-hunting. Monstrologists have counted down to 500 individuals since the 1950's but, the species' population have increased over the course of a couple of years thanks for the government to protect these extraordinary species.

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