Musk oxen have been roaming around, being totally cool since the last Ice Age. Why are they cool? Well, they live in the Arctic, so they are literally cool. They are vegetarians, which is universally viewed as cool. They secrete a stinky funk or musk in order to attract Lady Musk oxen. Their soft underwool, qiviut, is highly prized as awesome sweater material and they just cast it off in the summer. . . no big deal.
They just play it cool, bro.
The Caribou. Or as it’s known to the rest of the world: The Reindeer. But I prefer the nomenclature emanating from North America. We like to be different. We say”Caribou.”
Anypoop, the Caribou is very important to human history. For centuries, humans have used Caribou for food, clothing, transportation, and income in some of the most cold and desolate places in the world. So thank you, Caribou, for being you. I, personally, will not eat you or wear you. However, given the opportunity, I would love to touch your velvety antlers and ask you about Santa’s temperament.
Both male and female of the species grow antlers, and they grow them big. Biggest antlers on any deer-like cervids (except the Moose). They can migrate up to 3,100 miles a year, covering 390,000 square miles. Think about that: 390,000 miles. That’s all on foot. Usually in the cold. Possibly while being hunted by wolverines, bears, wolves, and men.
Run, run, Caribou. Run, you majestic annual antler shedding creature.
Imagine using your front teeth to pull yourself out of the pool after a long swim. That is what the walrus does.
Imagine using your upper lip to search around on the floor to find your favorite food, lets say pepperoni, because the lights are off. That is what the walrus does.
Imagine holding your breath for 10 minutes and diving to 300 feet. That is what the walrus does.
Imagine being able to sleep while swimming. That is what the walrus does.
Imagine being in freezing water, 8 inches of ice separating you from the air you need to survive. What do you do? Just slam your head into the ice and use your teeth to make an air hole. That is what the walrus does.
The walrus lives in isolated places (cold Arctic regions), so most of what is known about them has been observed from walruses in captivity. This means there is still much to learn about these graceful swimmers who spend two thirds of their lives in the ocean.
What is evident is they are mysterious and pretty bad ass. How many species of animal have a Beatles song about them?