27 Aug '15, 2pm

Why walruses need summer sea ice

Why walruses need summer sea ice

These huge marine mammals are found in the far north, typically hauled out on ice when resting between their long but shallow dives for clams and other mollusks on the sea floor. Lately, there has been so little summer ice that it is causing serious trouble for walruses. But why is the ice so important to them? USGS explains , "Sea ice provides walruses with a resting platform, access to offshore feeding areas, and seclusion from humans and predators. The constant motion of sea ice transports resting walruses over widely dispersed prey patches." Without the sea ice, it is harder for walruses to get to new feeding grounds, and it requires them to travel long distances between feeding grounds and resting places, causing them to use up their hard-earned energy stores. It's not just the walruses that need the sea ice - their prey populations need walruses to have that ice too....

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/why-walrus...

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