Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name - Walrus

Scientific Name : Odobenus rosmarus

Type : Aquatic Animal 

Age : upto 40 Years (approximately)

Diet : Omnivorous

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 800 to 1,700 kg for males and 400 to 1,250 kg for females

Weight : 1100Kg. To 2200Kg. 

Top Speed : 35 km/h 

Colour : pale brown, grey, or even yellowish in cold water and pinkish to darker brown in warm water.

Skin Type : large, flabby bodies covered in brown or pink skin (hair)

Lifespan : upto 40 Years (approximately) 

Current Population : 55,000-550,000

Current Population Trend : Threatened

Native : northeastern Canada to Greenland, northern seas off Russia and Alaska and North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere


Main Prey : worms, gastropods, cephalopods, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, and other soft-bodied animals

Habitat : Ice floes and rocky, remote coastlines.

Predators : polar bears and killer whales

Lifestyle : Diurnal

Favourite Food : bottom-dwelling invertebrates

Amazing Facts

  • They use their tusks to break through ice to get out of the water, as well as for defence and dominance displays in males. The male with the largest tusks is the most dominant. Males’ tusks can be as long as 3 feet (0.9 m)
  • They congregate in large groups, known as “herds,” of walrus. Females and males have their own herds, which are normally separated by gender.
  • Male walruses achieve sexual maturity about the age of seven, but they cannot generally overpower other males for mating rights until they are around 15 years old. Female walruses reach sexual maturity at the age of four.
  • Adult male walruses (also known as bulls) compete for dominance from January to March. Males with larger air sacks under their throats swim around groups of females, emitting vocal calls.
  • The typical pregnancy lasts 15 months. Following impregnation, calving happens during the spring migration (April through June). Walrus calves can weigh up to 75 kilogrammes (165 pounds) and can swim right away. Mothers breastfeed their calves for up to five years, and calves remain with their mothers for over a year.
  • Walrus tusks are canine teeth that continue to expand throughout the animal’s existence. Males battle for dominance over harems with their tusks, and females fight for dominance over harems with their tusks. Hauling themselves up onto shore, defending themselves from predators, and hooking onto ice to rest as float.
  • Female walruses give birth away from the herd. Nobody knows why, but it’s likely it’s to avoid being eaten by predators by avoiding the collective walrus smell, or to protect the calves from being crushed. Mother walruses cuddle their calves in the same way as human mothers do.


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