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A rare arctic sighting...

A rare arctic sighting...
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-31
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 300mm F2.8 G, Digital RAW 200
Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-02-03 0:55
Viewed: 7758
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On our Svalbard trip we had an encounter with a Walrus with a (most probably own) seal kill which he had left on the ice,as we approached closer the walrus slipped into the water. Just when we thought he'd gone he came back and carefully pulled the kill into the water and were witness of probably a very rare sight.

Diet and Eating Habits of the Walrus

A. Food preferences and resources.

1. Walruses prefer molluscs, mainly bivalves such as clams. They suck bivalve animals from the shells. Walruses also eat many other kinds of benthic invertebrates including worms, gastropods, cephalopods, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, and other soft-bodied animals. Walruses may occasionally prey on fishes such as polar cod.

2. Walruses may eat the remains of young seals when food is scarce.

3. There are some rare but habitual seal-eating walruses. Their diet consists mainly of ringed and bearded seals. These are usually male walruses, recognizable because they are usually larger than other males with powerful shoulder and chest muscles. Their skin may become grease-stained from the blubber of the seals.

B. Food intake.

1. Adult walruses eat about 4.2% to 6.2% of their total body weight per day. They eat less on their northward migration.

2. Observations of feedings indicate that walruses fill their stomachs twice daily.

3. Adults may eat as many as 3,000 to 6,000 clams at a single feeding.

C. Methods of collecting food.

1. Walruses usually forage within 80 m (262 ft.) of the surface. Most feeding probably takes place between 10 and 50 m (33-164 ft.).

2. Because visability is poor in deep and murky waters, walruses rely on their vibrissae to locate food.

3. A walrus moves its snout along the bottom, rooting through the sediment. Abrasion patterns of the tusks show that they are dragged through the sediment, but are not used to dig up prey.

4. Evidence shows that walruses may also take in mouthfuls of water and squirt powerful jets at the sea floor, excavating burrowing invertebrates such as clams.

robindb, nglen, CeltickRanger, valy67 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-03 1:02]

Hello Paul
Wonderful capture with fine details and natural colors.
Well done.

Hi Paul,

From the Arctic cold to the heat of Africa seems to me. Well seen photo with the subject standing out well from the ice BG and good lighting and detail.



Hallo Paul,
Inhoudelijk zeer sterk.
Goede focus en diepte.
Mooi gedaan.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-02-03 10:59]

Hallo Paul,
Opmerkelijke scene. Geen verklaring voor. Je kunt je fantasie er op los laten. Lijkt me heel bijzonder om zo iets te zien.
Prachtige foto trouwens in mooie natuurljke kleuren en goede scherpte. Perfecte compositie.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-02-03 11:23]

Hi Paul. This Walrus looks a strong looking animal. One you were lucky to see. The sea gull it try to get some of the food as well. interesting notes too.

Hi Paul
Very interesting presentation.
The photograph is very good technically.
Thanks for sharing

hello Paul

excellent photography of this strong and expressive animal
shot with fine POV, DOF and framing, excellent sharpness
and details, and i also love t see on the image the visitor gull,



  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-02-03 15:41]

Hello Paul !
Wow, what an unusual picture ! This is really somathing we do not get to see every day ! The Walrus looks very big and impressive, and you managed to get a splendid picture - I love the details, the natural colors, the composition. Very informative note, too. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2009-02-03 16:42]

Wow Paul,
This is a fantastic capture, great POV and great informative
notes on the Walrus.. Well done


Hello Paul

Wow ,what a spectacular sight.
The shot is sharp with excellent detail.
Well composed in the frame.
This is definitely a scene only witnessed by a few.
Even in the high Arctic the gulls are able to find some fast food.


Hi Paul
Surprising shot. We're so much told that they eat shells. Very interesting.
Pus captured with great details.

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