Information about: Walrus

Index | Walrus

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Walrus. A marine carnivorous mammal, closely related to seals and sea lions. It is known by its enormous down-turned tusks, or canine teeth, projecting from the upper jaw. They sometimes reach a length of eighteen to twenty-four inches beyond the sockets. Walruses have a thick clumsy body, deepest at the shoulders, and their feet, which are adapted for swimming, are also furrowed so as to hold on to smooth surfaces. They reach a length of twelve feet and a weight of 2,000 pounds. There are two living species, one found in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific. The Atlantic form is still found, according to Wm. T. Hornaday, in Smith Sound and north of Franz-Josef Land, but formerly extended farther south. The Pacific form is more northern, being rarely found on the mainland. They feed largely on clams and other mollusks, which they dig from the sea bottom with their tusks. They visit islands and ice floes, and congregate in considerable numbers during the breeding period.