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Coming face to face with a large Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is an experience that is hard to forget. When I arrived on the Prins Karls Forland, a small island off the western coast of Spitsbergen, in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, dozens of huge walruses were piled up on the beach. One on top of each other, in a camaraderie reminiscent of elephants bathing in the mud. But the comparison with pachyderms stops here. Walruses often mix cozying up with testosterone-fueled fights. Males engage in displays of dominance where tusks are used as weapons. They slash each other, but females ignore their antics. Those incredibly violent bouts often lead to death.