October 11, 2011


 We enjoy aquariums wherever we go and Quebec City happens to have one that boasts walruses, a creature neither of us had seen and both of us really wanted to. There are two subspecies: the Atlantic and Pacific. Though both breeds were on display there, I would honestly be hard-pressed to tell them apart.
 Not only were they visible in their tank, but there was a pretty fun walrus show to be seen as well. Since walruses are largely blobs with flippers, their trainers communicate encouragement and praise to them through high fives, which I found delightful. Aside from just being neat to see out of the water, the show had them rolling on their backs and sides and blowing kisses which let us see a pretty full range of motion.
 As any Jurassic Park fan knows, the T-Rex in the film was part walrus call and the show featured a selection of walrus vocalizations including that trademark roar.
As keen-eyed readers may have noticed, these walruses lack tusks. Since they are mostly used to forage in the mud and haul out on ice, neither of which are done in aquariums, their tusks had been removed a few years ago to prevent injuries between the animals and reduce damage to their enclosure. They also all had red eyes as the chlorine in the water irritates them and people have yet to find a balance between comfort and cleanliness in their tanks.

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