Walrus Facts



  • A single walrus tusk can measure up to 1 m long and weigh 5.4 kg.
  • Walruses swim by sweeping their huge rear flippers from side to side, each one opening in turn like a 1-m wide fan.
  • The walrus is protected from the cold by a thick layer of blubber – a third of its total weight.
  • In the summer, basking walruses turn a deep pink as their blood vessels dilate to radiate heat away from the body.
  • Walruses excavate shellfish from seabed mud by squirting a high-pressure blast of water from their mouths.
  • The walrus has 300 whiskers on each side of its mustache, which it uses to help it find food in murky waters.
  • A walrus uses its long tusks to help it clamber onto ice floes – its scientific name, Odobenus, means ‘tooth walker.
  • In water, a walrus turns a pale grey color as blood leaves its skin to maintain the temperature of its body core.
  • A walrus can eat 3000 clams in one day. Walruses are very sociable, and like to gather in huge groups on coastal ice or rocks.
  • A walrus’s tusks are actually extra-long upper canine teeth. The tusks of the male are longer, and used both for display and fin- competing with rivals during the breeding season.
  • Walrus pups are born 15 months after the parents have mated – 4 to 5 months pass before the egg starts to grow in the mother’s womb.