Tuesday, July 13, 2010


A large marine mammal inhabiting open water at the edge of the Arctic ice pack, the walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, is closely related to the seal but forms its own family, the Odobenidae. Walruses lack external ears and have long tusks, a thick, wrinked, nearly hariless skin except for long bristles on the cheek pads, and reversible hirid flippers that facilitate locomotion over ice. They grow to enormous size; male may be 3.7 m (12 ft) long and weigh up to about 1400 kg (3000 lb); females are only slightly smaller.

Walruses use their tusks to climb up onto the ice, to stir up clams and other bottom shellfishes, and in feighting. Most walruses live in herds, and in the late winter and spring they drift along on large floating ice fields. Their bellows can be heard up to 0.8 km (0.5 mi) away.

Female walruses have one calf every other year, in April or early May; the calf may stay with the mother for 2 years. Some walruses live for up to 40 years. Long a source of food, ivory, blubber oil fuel, and hides to Eskimos, walrus populations have been greatly reduced by hunting. See endanger animals like Komodo Dragon, Sumatra Tiger, Bengal Tiger and else.

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