24 Interesting Facts About Walruses

Mighty walruses only seem harmless and clumsy. No, they are not at all dangerous if they are not disturbed, but if they show aggression, it is better to stay away from them, because stopping a carcass weighing several tons is quite problematic. However, walruses never attack people first, and they live far from us.

  • Their skin at the nape of the neck can be up to 10 centimeters thick.
  • Walruses know how to control their heart rate. The colder the water around, the slower their heartbeats.
  • Almost all walruses live in large groups, but some are solitary. What causes this behavior is still unknown.
  • The life span of a walrus can reach 27-30 years.
  • Their newborn cubs weigh up to 25-30 kg.
  • Male walruses have air sacs around their necks, which females do not. By inflating them, they can sleep on the water, supporting their heads on the surface. But they still sleep mostly on land, as there are predatory killer whales and other dangers in the water.
  • Walruses have four nipples, but females often have a small genetic abnormality – the fifth nipple. This happens in other animals as well, but it happens especially often in female walruses.
  • Judging by archaeological finds, thousands of years ago, the ancestors of walruses lived in warm waters, although now they only live in cold seas. The fossilized bones of these animals, about 28,000 years old, were discovered near San Francisco.
  • Walrus hunting is legally prohibited in all countries in whose territorial waters these animals are found.
  • The world population of walruses is estimated at about 250,000 individuals.
  • The tusks of an old walrus can reach a length of one meter and a weight of up to 5 kg.
  • One herd can number up to 2000 walruses.
  • Among other animals, the main danger to walruses is represented by killer whales and polar bears, which are always ready to hunt them on occasion.
  • They can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes.
  • With rare exceptions, female walruses give birth to only one cub at a time, and they usually do this no more often than once every three years. Therefore, these animals reproduce so slowly.
  • If the walrus spends at least a couple of hours under the sun’s rays, it will acquire a pink color, since the numerous blood vessels in its thick skin will expand from heating.
  • An adult walrus can weigh up to 2 tons, but only males usually reach this mass. Females are inferior to them in size.
  • The fat layer in walruses can reach 10-11 cm in thickness, or even more.
  • About 25% of the bodyweight of an adult walrus is fat, which protects it from the cold.
  • The first name for walruses, “odobenus”, comes from the ancient Greek language. Translated, it means “the one who walks with his teeth.”
  • Walruses only seem to be clumsy lugs. If desired, they can easily, bending over, scratch the back of their head with their own rear fins
  • Despite the fact that the basis of their diet is fish, they also eat carrion if they come across it.
  • To get ashore, walruses plunge their powerful tusks into the ice or ground and then pull themselves onto them.
  • The older the walrus, the less hair on its body, since they become bald with age. Older walruses are usually completely hairless.

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