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Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and Odobenus genus.

 

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Mariana Martinez

Mariana Martinez

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The Atlantic subspecies O.r.rosmarus measures about 300 cm and weigh 1'200 kg. Females measure 250 cm and weigh 750 kg. The Pacific walrus O.r.divergens is slightly larger.

Article: Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus...
Source: World Association of Zoos...

Walruses use their whiskers (vibrissae) to locate food. A walrus has about 400-700 vibrissae on its snout, which are attached to muscles, and are supplied with blood and nerves. A walrus moves its snout through bottom sediment to find food.

Article: Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus...
Source: World Association of Zoos...

Seasonal dynamics of sea ice cover in the Chukchi and Bering seas allow walruses to exploit a wide area of the continental shelf during the year. Adult male walruses have dorsal inflatable pharyngeal pouches, which allow them to sleep at the surface in open water for extended periods (Fay 1960) between foraging trips from land in summer (e.g. Jay et al. 2001).

Article:   Projected status of the P…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Walruses are very gregarious and occur in groups of up to ~500 walruses (Fay 1985; Speckman et al. 2010). Group sizes of hauled out walruses tend to be larger when they are on shore than on ice (Fay 1985).

Article:   Projected status of the P…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Walruses do not use their tusks to dig for food as is commonly believed. Rather, they use them for fighting and displays of dominance with other walruses, for defense against predators, as picks to pull themselves out of the water onto ice floes, and to kill and tear apart seals.

Article: Pacific Walrus (Odobenus ...
Source: Marine Mammal Commission

Walruses are subdivided into two subspecies: the Atlantic walrus (O. r. rosmarus) and the Pacific walrus (O. r. divergens). The Pacific walrus is distributed along the continental shelf of the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

Article: Pacific Walrus (Odobenus ...
Source: Marine Mammal Commission

Morphologically, the walrus is more similar to the Phocidae (true seals). Behaviorally, they more closely resemble the Otariidae (eared seals). Several studies based on molecular data have linked the walrus more closely to the otariids, yet the pinniped family that the odobenids are most closely allied to is still in question.

Article: Walrus
Source: Seaworld

The common name, walrus, originated with the Danish word hvalros, meaning "sea horse" or "sea cow". The Russian word for walrus is morzh. Arctic natives call the walrus aivik (Inuit) or aivuk (Yu'pik).

Article: Walrus
Source: Seaworld

The tusks ivory has been throughout human history one of the main reason for the hunting of walruses. In all part of their range walruses have been subject to commercial exploitation during the past 350 years and most populations have yet to recover.

Article: Walrus (O. rosmarus)
Source: Society for Marine Mammal...

The walrus, Odobenus rosmarus was named by Linnaeus in 1758. The name "Odobenus" in latin means "the one that walks on the teeth" while "rosmarus" is derived from old Norse and means "horse of the sea". It is the biggest seal species to inhabit the shallow waters of the Arctic Ocean.

Article: Walrus (O. rosmarus)
Source: Society for Marine Mammal...
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