Animals

... WALRUS TO SLEEP THEY LEAVE THE WATER AND ALL SNUGGLE UP TOGETHER ON DRY LAND?

Did you know that walruses have 8 cm of fat under their skin to protect them from the cold?
... WALRUS TO SLEEP THEY LEAVE THE WATER AND ALL SNUGGLE UP TOGETHER ON DRY LAND?

 WALRUS

Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus
Common name: Walrus
Order: Carnivora.
Family: Odobenidae.
Distribution: Cold water of the Arctic Ocean.
Measurements: Length: males 3.2 m, females 2.7 m.
Weight: the male can weigh between 1,200 and 1,500 kg and the female between 600 and 850 kg.
Food: Crustaceans and molluscs
Special characteristics: Walruses are gregarious and may form herds of as many as 1000 animals.
Status of the species: The exploitation of the ivory of its tusks is its greatest threat although its skin and fat have also been widely use for many years by the Arctic peoples.

Walruses have two large tusks that can be up to 90cm long. These appear from the age of one, both in males and females. They are used to anchor themselves to the ice when they need to come out of the water, and also to move on the ice.

Walruses are gregarious animals that live in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean. In appearance they are similar to seals, though they can reach an impressive size.  In fact they are the largest pinnipeds after the male Elephant Seal (Mirounga sp). Maximum weight of a male adult is about 1,700 kg and they can grow to about 360 cm long, while females can weigh up to 1,250 kg and reach 310 cm.

Their most striking feature is the presence of two large tusks (arched in males), approximately 1 metre in length and which appear from one year of age in both males and females.  These tusks are used to anchor themselves to the ice when they need to come out of the water, and also so as to move on the ice. In males they also have a sexual function. They are used to fight each other so as to get the best female harems.

Oceanogràfic Walruses

They feed 7 days a week, 4 times a day. Their diet is made up of herring, squid and mussels. The daily amount varies from individual to individual, but ranges from 18 kg. to 27 kg. As with the other marine mammals at the Oceanogràfic, walruses take part in an Environmental Enrichment Programme to improve their quality of life and well-being. The implementation of this program results in increased natural behaviour and reduces anomalous behaviour. Enrichment activities are appropriate to their needs, possibilities and biology.

Listen here some sounds from a walrus of the Oceanogràfic

Discover more curiosities about walruses


*Find out this animal in the Arctic Tower