Wild Scandinavia – Avaq, the Arctic tooth walker

For the Inuit of the Arctic, the walrus spells survival and prosperity. Few animals are as well adapted to its polar life as the walrus. This also may be the reason why the Inuit people revere the animal, which is believed to have many human characteristics.

But why the walrus have their long teeth has long been a discussion. Early zoologists heard about walruses that used the teeth to drag themselves up out of the water and onto ice floes. This behavior gave them a scientific Latin name that means “toothwalker”. But probably, the teeth are more important to show off a social status and maintain control over the harem. Fights between males can sometimes turn into bloody battles, but more often the one with the less impressive teeth will turn away without fighting.

In this film, we will follow hunters of different kinds: the Inuit hunter in search of food and the scientist in search of knowledge. In unique under water footage, we will finally see how the walrus seeks its food on the seabeds; and thanks to satellite tracking scientists, will be able to explain the long migrations of the seals.

Produced and directed by: Lars Åby and Bo Landin

Cinematography by: Lars Åby, Adam Ravetch and Göran Elmé

Research: Tom Arnbom