Walrus are large arctic pinnipeds whose canines are elongated into prominant tusks. They use these tusks for fighting, display, dominance, chipping breathing and haul out holes in ice, and as ice picks for clambering out of the water onto ice flows. They have bushy whiskers and lumpy red skin.
Walruses feed on the sea floor, rooting through the sediment for marine invertebrates. Their favorites are clams, and they have a special adaptation for eating them - they hold the clam in their mouths, which makes a seal around the shell. Then they withdraw their tongue like a piston, creating suction which pops the meaty part of the clam out of its shell. The shell is then spit out. Occasionally walruses will also eat seals.
Walruses swim using either their front flippers as wings or by flapping their hind flipper up and down. On land they turn their hind flippers around to walk on all four flippers. Walruses have an air sack in their throat that allows them to float effortlessly so they can sleep in the open ocean.
Walruses have eyes on the side of their head, but they can bulge their eyes out and roll them around to give a good overlapping field of view in front. It is also pretty creepy looking when they do it.
Back to Pinnipeds