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walrus

Fast Facts: Walrus
Image: iStockphoto.com/JohnPitcher

Fast Facts: Walrus

The walrus looks like a mega-seal, with tusks that can reach 15 inches long. The tusks make air holes in Arctic ice and also help hoist the seal onto land. An adept swimmer, the walrus can manage a quick sprint on land.

Only one species inhabits the planet. Its Latin name, Odobenus rosmarus, means “tooth-walking seahorse.” The largest males can weigh more than 3,000 pounds.

Canadian Geographic Kids
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How to Speak Walrus

How to Speak Walrus

Be sure to listen in here to Arctic Idol — Walruses not only make a wide variety of sounds on their own, they can learn to make new sounds and combine sounds into unique songs. They’re singer-songwriters! More...

Video
NOVA/PBS
Animal Mothers: Walrus Cuddle

Animal Mothers: Walrus Cuddle

At 100 pounds and already sporting a mustache, a newborn walrus commands every bit of his mother’s attention. She delivers her calf in isolation from the herd and always keeps it within reach. More...

Video
National Geographic
Polar Bear Walrus Hunt

Polar Bear Walrus Hunt

A desperate polar bear, worn down by the lack of feeding opportunities in its shrinking habitat, goes after adult walruses. How does it all turn out? More...

Video
BBC
A Peek Inside the “Walrus Diaries”

A Peek Inside the “Walrus Diaries”

Working for the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, biologist Tony Fischbach follows the movements of tagged walruses in the Chukchi Sea. The data make up what Fischbach calls the “walrus diaries.” More...

Profile
Alaska Public Media
Walrus Drumming

Walrus Drumming

Making sounds that distinctly sound like drumming, male walruses keep the beat perhaps to stake out territory. Potential rivals answer with their own rhythms. More...

Video
BBC
Walrus Pictures

Walrus Pictures

When you click through this gallery, you’ll see that walruses are highly social animals, spending a lot of time in large groups. These very tactile behemoths often communicate by rubbing whiskers, also known as vibrissae. More...

Images
National Geographic
Walrus Quiz

Walrus Quiz

How would you rate your walrus wisdom? Take this 10-question test and find out how much you know about these mammoth marine mammals. More...

Interactive
Animal Planet
Walrus Research Projects

Walrus Research Projects

Walruses don’t leave physical tracks to help us chart their migrations. But tagged walruses leave electronic tracks that can be mapped against sea ice distribution in the Chukchi Sea. Check out this animated map. More...

Video
U.S. Geological Survey
Walrus: Hunter and Hunted

Walrus: Hunter and Hunted

The walrus needs a lot food to “make weight” for its species: It can eat 4,000 clams — its favorite food — in one day! Only native Arctic peoples can legally hunt the walrus now. It feeds them and provides products for many uses. More...

Article
Smithsonian
Walrus: Odobenus rosmarus

Walrus: Odobenus rosmarus

Geographic isolation divides the walrus into three separate subspecies. Walrus social life is complex and relies on an advanced communications system. Find out about all things walrus here. More...

Article
University of Michigan

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