The most prominent adaptations of walruses are their tusks, which they use for many purposes. Other adaptations include sensitive whiskers, which help them locate food, and the blubber under their thick skins, which provides energy and protects them against the arctic cold.Continue Reading
Both male and female walruses have prominent canine teeth called tusks, which can extend up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 12 pounds. Walruses use their tusks to crack breathing holes in ice sheets and pull themselves out of the water and along the ice. Walrus bulls also use tusks as weapons when they battle one another for territory and to protect harems of females.
Walruses have small eyes and poor vision, so their vibrissae, or whiskers, are imperative in locating the mollusks, sea cucumbers, crabs and worms that they mainly depend on for food. The vibrissae are not mere bristles but have blood and nerves and are attached to muscles.
With their muzzles down, walruses use their back flippers to propel themselves along as they skim the sediment on the sea floor. With their lips and gums, they remove the soft meat from their prey and expel the shells. Though walruses do not usually eat fish, their size and weight enable them to prey on small seals occasionally.Learn more about Marine Mammals
One of the most unusual dolphin species in the world, Hector’s dolphins have evolved several adaptations that allow them to survive in the oceans surrounding New Zealand. These adaptations include a relatively small body size, contrasting markings and a unique hunting strategy. Additionally, Hector’s dolphins share some adaptations with all dolphins, such as their blowholes, which allow them to breathe while they are underwater.Full Answer >
The pygmy hippopotamus has several special adaptations for living in its environment, including major sensory organs on top of its head, strong muscles to keep ears and nostrils shut underwater and secretions of a red liquid that moisturizes the skin. These special adaptations are ideal for the creature's aquatic habitat.Full Answer >
People consider ivory valuable because it can be used for multiple purposes, has a durable quality and aesthetic appeal and comes from the tusks and teeth of animals, typically elephants. Many laws prohibit poachers from killing these animals for their ivory, although the practice is still a problem throughout the world.Full Answer >
Dolphins survive by living within groups to protect one another, by eating various food found throughout the ocean and by breathing when they surface. Their bodies also help to support them after millions of years of evolution to the slender, torpedo shape that can swim quickly and powerfully.Full Answer >