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E.T. the Walrus vocalizes at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

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Walruses are have a unique way of speaking… or really, singing! And this Pacific Walrus named E.T. is excellent at demonstrating this wide range of vocalizations. Thirty year old E.T. was found alone as a pup by Alaskan Oil Workers in 1982. He now weighs over 3,400 lbs and lives at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.

After you watch the video above, head over to NOVA where there’s another great demonstration of walrus-speak:

Leah Combs, a trainer, and Colleen Reichmuth, a marine biologist, introduce us to three very charismatic walruses who are teaching scientists much about walrus vocalizations and communications. In this audio slide show, meet Siku, Uquq, and Sivuqaq and hear the remarkable range of sounds they produce both above and below water.

An important note from the NOVA video: “They really are the last living species in a much larger biogenetic group of animals. There are no other animals like walruses and we still know so very, very little about them and about their behavior.”

Partial population estimates by American and Russian researchers in 2006 counted only 130,000 Pacific walruses. Atlantic walrus numbers are likely below 20,000.

Watch more videos with pinnipeds (aquatic, fin-footed mammals).

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