There are only one species of walrus but they are given names according to the area of the world that they call home. The Atlantic walrus live around Greenland and the northern portion of Canada. The Pacific walruses live around Russia and Alaska. The Laptev walrus is found only in the Laptev Sea of Russia.
Walruses are huge animals and they are also social animals that enjoy getting together with their friends. Let’s take a look at some of the facts and characteristics of these amazing creatures.
How Much Does a Walrus Weigh?
A Male walrus weighs more than a female when they are mature. The male of the species is called a bull, and a full-grown male will weigh between 1750 and 3750 pounds. Remember, a ton is 2000 pounds, so a male walrus may weigh 1 and three-quarters of a ton!
The female walrus is called a cow. These ladies usually weigh between 880 pounds and 2750 pounds. That means even the smaller creatures can weigh more than a ton!
Atlantic VS Pacific
The Atlantic walruses usually weigh less than the Pacific animals do. An Atlantic bull will normally weigh about 2000 pounds or just one tone, while the Pacific bull may weigh much closer to 3750 or almost 2 tons.
The Little Ones
A newborn or juvenile walrus is called a calf. The mother is pregnant with the calf for about 16 months. Normally she will only give birth to a single calf, but twins are not unheard of.
When they are born the calves will weigh between 100 and 165 pounds. As soon as they are born they start to swim.
The typical calf stays with its mother until the age of 3. At 3 the females stay with the herd they were born into, but they begin to breed at the age of 5 years and raise their own young.
The males leave the herd for a male herd. The males do not begin to breed until they turn about 15 years of age. The average lifespan of a walrus is close to 40 years of age in the wild.
The tusks of these animals may be the most noticed physical trait they have. It is not uncommon for a walrus to have a set of tasks that are 3 feet in length.
The tusk is actually their canine teeth. At three feet in length, these teeth weigh about 12 pounds. The tusks of a walrus never stop growing.
The animals use them to help them climb out of the water and onto land. They also use them as weapons of attack or defense. They can also use their tusks to break holes in ice so they can get air.
Bull walruses have usually got longer tusks than cow walruses have. The tusk of a bull is also normally straighter than the ones on a cow.
The length and size of the male walrus tusk help to establish their social positioning in the herd. The longer tusks are indicators of greater power so the walrus with the longest tusks will be at the top of the social circle.
Did You Know?
- Walruses have been known to fatally wound polar bears?
- These creatures may stay awake for more than three days when they are at sea. When they do go to sleep they can sleep for as long as 19 hours at a time.
- Walruses love clams, but they have been known to eat seals.
- Walruses do not drag their bodies using flippers as seals do. Walruses run on all fours and they can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour when on land.
- The whiskers of walrus are sensitive and the animals use them to comb the sea floor for their favorite invertebrates, sea cucumbers, and clams. When they get the clam they do not eat the shell and all. They have the ability to wrap their lips around the clam and create suction with their tongue, This allows them to open the shell and get the meat out so they can spit the hard shell out of their mouths.
- These creatures have air sacks positioned on their throats that work like pillows when they sleep in the water. They fill the pouch with up to 50 liters of air and then they do not have to fear drowning while they catch up on their sleep.
- The biggest danger to a walrus is a human. These fabulous creatures were almost hunted to extinction during the 1700 and 1800s. Today only the indigenous people like the Inuit are permitted to hunt these animals.
Can A Walrus Run Very Fast?
They can reach speeds of up to 22 mph.
What Causes A Walrus To Have Red Eyes?
This is caused by a disease called Albinism.
Do Walruses Prefer To Be On Land Or In Water?
They prefer the water and spend about two-thirds of their life underwater.