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Walrus
Walrus
Information
Range Arctic
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Odobenidae
Genus Odobenus
Species Odobenus rosmarus
Conservation Status
VUSpecies
Vulnerable

The Walrus is a large marine mammal that primarily lives in the Arctic Ocean.The walrus has played a prominent role in the cultures of many indigenous Arctic peoples, who have hunted the walrus for its meat, fat, skin, tusks, and bone. During the 19th century and the early 20th century, walruses were widely hunted and killed for their blubber, walrus ivory, and meat. The population of walruses dropped rapidly all around the Arctic region. Their population has rebounded somewhat since then, though the populations of Atlantic and Laptev walruses remain fragmented and at low levels compared with the time before human interference.

Appearance

The Walrus is noted for its tusk and whiskers. It has a massive reddish-brown body that can weigh more than 1,700 kilograms (3,700 lb). Surrounding the tusks is a broad mat of stiff bristles ('mystacial vibrissae'), giving the walrus a characteristic whiskered appearance. There can be 400 to 700 vibrissae in 13 to 15 rows reaching 30 cm (12 in) in length, though in the wild they are often worn to much shorter lengths due to constant use in foraging. The vibrissae are attached to muscles and are supplied with blood and nerves, making them highly sensitive organs capable of differentiating shapes 3 mm (0.12 in) thick and 2 mm (0.079 in) wide.

Behavior

Diet

It diets consists of mollusks, bivalves and other small marine organisms.


Subspecies

O. rosmarus rosmarus, Atlantic walrus

O. rosmarus divergens, Pacific walrus

O. rosmarus laptevi

Gallery

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