It’s exhausting, being a walrus. Seals can swim indefinitely. Not walruses. After a day cruising Arctic water for food, they like to plant their tusks onto an ice floe, haul their blubbery selves up, and have a snooze. But it’s been hard to find a comfy chunk of sea ice this summer. So walruses are opting for the next best thing: Alaska.
Alaska’s new herd of walruses.
An estimated 35,000 have overrun the coast north of Point Lay, in northwest Alaska, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A pocket of several hundred walruses gather near Point Lay.
Walruses in the Bering Sea use ice floes as floating home bases between dives to the sea bottom, where they snack on clams and other mollusks. In the winter, that’s no problem. And until recently, it wasn’t an issue in summer, either. Normally, female walruses and their young follow the sea ice north into the relatively…
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