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Mammal Species of the World's Boreal Forests

BIRDS

   
Odobenus rosmarus
Walrus

Description

Distinguishing Features - Length: male 2.5 - 3.6 m; female 2.3 - 2.9 m; weight: male 750 kg; female 570 kg. Overall colouration: almost hairless body variable, may be yellowish, reddish, pink, or brown to almost white. Muzzle covered with stiff, long bristles. No external tail. Short, round head. Fore flippers lack nails. Upper canines form distinctive, large tusks, up to 1 m long; cow's tusks are shorter and more curved.

Walrus Habitat

In the northeast, Arctic seas around Greenland south to Hudson Bay; in the nortwest, the Bearing Sea from Alaska to Siberia.

Diet

Mollusks, especially clams, and crustaceans; also softshell crabs, shrimp, worms, and a few fish.

Notes

The Walrus is an ungainly creature and spends more time out of the water than other aquatic carnivores, sunbathing and resting on ice and beaches for long periods. Individuals can often be observed competing for the best basking spots.


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