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Walrus Gifts

The walrus is immediately recognized by its prominent tusks, whiskers and great bulk.Adult Pacific walrus males can weigh up to 3,700 lb and, among pinnipeds, are exceeded in size only by the two species of elephant seals. Walruses live to about 20–30 years old in the wild.

Overview of the Walrus

All About the Walrus
Walrus is part of the order of Pinnipedia. Pinnipeds include seal, sea lions and walruses. most scientsists recognize two subspecies of walruses: Odobenus Rosmarus Rosmarus (Atlantic) and Odobenus Rosmarus Divergens (Pacific) . The word Odobenus comes from the greek term “tooth walker” and refers to the walruses method of pulling them onto the ice with their long tusks.

Walruses are originally named from the Danish word “hvalros”, meaning “sea horse” or “sea cow”. Walruses are circumpolar. Pacific Walruses inhabit the Bering, Chuckchi and Laptev Seas, where the Atlantic Walruses inhabit the coastal areas of Northeastern Canada and Greenland.

Walruses spend about 2/3 of their lives in the water. Walruses will haul out to rest and bear their young. They are adapted to ice floes, and snow packs but will haul out on rocky islands when ice is not present. Walruses migrate following the pack ice. They can migrate more than 1800 miles per year.

Male pacific walruses weigh between 1700 and 3748 lbs and are 9-12 feet long. Female pacific walruses are 880-2750 lbs and are 7.5-10 feet long. Atlantic walruses are slightly smaller than pacific walruses.

Most walruses are cinnamon to brown, but their color may appear different under different temperature conditions. In cold water walruses may appear pale, in warm weather their skin may look pink.

Walrus calves are born gray to brown, within a week or two the calf becomes tawny to brown. The walruses body is covered in short fine hair. Walruses mot their skin in August each year. Coloration pales with age.

Most walruses have 18 teeth the two canine teeth grow into long ivory tusks. Both male and female walruses have tusks. Male walrus tusks tend to be longer and straighter than female walrus tusks. Tusks can grow up to 39 inches in males and 31 inches in females. A newborn calf will grow its tusk during its first summer of fall. Tusks are used to assert and establish social dominance and to assist with hauling out on to ice or rocky shores.

A walrus has a thick tough skin, that can be 2-4 inches, the toughest skin is found around the neck and shoulders of adult males. The thick skin helps protect the walrus against the tusks of other walruses.

Walruses eat mollusks, but will also eat crustaceans and soft-bodied animals. Walruses eat 3-6% of their total weight per day. Walruses root in the ocean sediment, with their sensitive whiskers for soft shelled clams. Once they locate a clam they suck out the soft clam with their powerful jaws.

Walruses swim about 4 mph but can swim up to 21 mph for short periods of time. Walruses congregate in herds and are seldom found alone. Herds can have hundreds of members. Their is a social hierarchy found in the herd and sub groups. Dominance is determined by the length of tusk s and aggressiveness. Smaller walruses and those with broken tusks have a lower social ranking. Tusks are used as weapons, male walruses will compete during mating season as well as for the most favorable haul out locations.

Male walruses sexually mature at 8-10 years, but they don’t typically successful reproduce until 15 years of age. Most female walruses mature at 5-6 years, giving birth to their first young at 10 years of age.

Walruses gestation period is 15-16 month. Walruses give birth to a single calf at a time. Calves weigh 100-165 lbs and are 3-4 feet long. Walrus calves will often ride on it’s mother’s back in the water. Walruses nurse for two years. Walrus cows are extremely protective of their young.

The worlds walrus population is estimated to be about 250,000 animals. Walruses can typically live 16-40 years. Polar bears and killer whales will prey on walrus calves and injured adults. The worlds walrus population is estimated to be about 250,000 animals.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also guest writes for Dog Pound

Walrus Gifts




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