The Walrus

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
One of these great creatures is the walrus, and what a strange animal it is, with its long tusks, whiskers and clumsy body! It lives in the regions near the North Pole where the terrain is mostly ice and water. A walrus feeds mostly on clams, shrimp, sea urchins and plants that grow on the ocean bottom. It uses its tusks to dig out this food from the ocean bed. Its tusks are also useful weapons against its enemy—the polar bear. A full-grown walrus may be ten feet long and weigh as much as a ton.
How can the walrus live in such adverse conditions, where an unprotected man would quickly freeze to death? And, being a mammal, how can it dive to great depths for its food without drowning? The answer to both questions is that God has created it in a very special way that enables it to survive.
The walrus’s chief protection from the cold is a thick layer of blubber between its skin and flesh. The walrus needs to maintain a comfortable body temperature and could not do so without this insulation. God has also provided a built-in "thermostat" that automatically starts blood pumping from the blubber to the muscles, flesh and internal body organs the moment the animal enters the freezing water, keeping it very comfortable. But in leaving the water and returning to the ice or seashore, it would be too warm with all that hot blood circulating through its body, so the "thermostat" goes to work and the right proportion of blood returns into the blubber and skin where the heat radiates off. Exposed to the air, it is soon back to a comfortable temperature.
As this is an air-breathing mammal, God has given it "valves" that shut off its breathing whenever it dives beneath the surface, where it may stay a half hour or so. Then when it surfaces, the "valves" open again and it can resume breathing. Without that provision it would drown.
We do not know just why these strange animals were created. They do, of course, provide food for the Inuit people, as well as skins, blubber and ivory tusks that are useful. It might seem odd that such unusual creatures would inhabit the cold places of the north, but God had His purpose in placing them there and adapting them to such harsh surroundings.
But, while God watches carefully over all the animals, He is more intensely interested in every boy and girl, every man and woman, whom He has created and does not intend for us to remain on this earth forever. He invites us to accept His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Savior, and when we do He promises us "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:44To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:4)). Have you accepted this wonderful invitation?