Here you’ll find many interesting walrus facts for kids. Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large marine mammal and it is the only living species from its family and genus. It is closely related to eared and true seals. It has three subspecies: Atlantic Walrus, Pacific Walrus and O. r. laptevi. Let us now read fascinating walrus facts and information.
Walrus Facts for Kids
Walrus has cinnamon-brown appearance. However, it may look like pale-white in cold water. It has spindle-shaped body with long ivory tusks and mustaches. Its eyes and ears are small.
Its tail is tucked away in skin. Tusks are actually two canine teeth of the animal’s upper jaw and they keep on growing until for about 15 years.
There are around 400 to 700 whiskers (or mustaches) located on its mouth. These whiskers are arranged in 13 to 15 rows. It has hairless and triangle-shaped flippers.
The size of the male Pacific walrus is around 9 to 12 feet and it weighs around 1,764 to 3,748 pounds. The females measure about 7.5 to 10 feet in length and weigh around 882 to 2,756 pounds. At birth, the size of a calf is around 3 to 4 feet and weighs around 99 to 165 pounds. Every month, the length of a calf grows for about 10 to 15 centimeters.
In males, tusks can be as long as 100 centimeters in length while in females, these can grow for up to 80 centimeters.
Walrus Lifespan: The lifespan of a walrus is around 40 years.
Mating season occurs between December and March. Male walruses usually mature at the age of 8 to 10 years. But they do not reproduce until they reach 15 years of age. Likewise, females mature at around 5 to 6 years but they do not start reproduction until after another 4 to 5 years.
A female walrus gives birth to a single calf between mid-April and mid-June. The mother nurses her calf for 2 years.
Where do walruses live? Walruses occur in gravel-bottom habitats and they are found in water at a maximum depth of 262 feet. About two-thirds of the lives of these animals is spent underwater. Every year, they cover 1,863 miles in migration.
Pacific walruses live in the Seas of Laptev, Bering and Chukchi. Atlantic walruses are found in Greenland as well as north and east of Canada.
What do walruses eat? Generally, walrus likes to feed on mollusks (clams, mussels). However, there are some other bottom-dwelling invertebrates on its menu as well including sea cucumbers, worms, crustaceans, gastropods and rarely fishes like polar cod. During one season, it may eat 3,000 to 6,000 clams.
The adult walruses are prone to a number of diseases like parasites and viruses. Humans have been hunting walruses for many years in order to get its skin, ivory tusks and meat.