Facts about Walruses
- The walrus is very interesting, and often misunderstood. Here are some very interesting facts about these amazing creatures!
- There are three species of walrus – Atlantic Walrus, Pacific Walrus, and O.R. Laptevi Walrus.
- Walrus are migrational so where they live will vary based on the time of the year. The movements during migration can be time consuming. They can also suffer a great deal of stress during that process.
- The process of migrating may include over 1,800 miles. The males tend to migrate a shorter distance than the females. Floating on ice can help with resting during migrating, but most of the miles will include swimming. Migration patterns follow the ice pack.
- One of the fossil remains of walrus was found in the San Francisco Bay area. It is believed to be more than 28,000 years old.
- There are an estimated 250,000 walrus that live in the world today. Substantial conservation efforts are in place to protect them and hopefully to increase numbers.
- The walrus isn’t able to dive very far so they live in shallow waters. They won’t dive for food more than 262 feet.
- There can be thousands of walrus that group into a colony when they migrate. It is a very loud scenario and they are very close to each other on the land. They develop subgroups to help with the overall hierarchy.
- The cold temperatures are ideal for the Walrus. They live in locations that have a temperature ranging from 5 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The walrus lives both on land and in the water. They spend 1/3 of their time on land and the rest in the water.
- Hauling out is the term associated with the walrus going to land.
- While mating occurs in the water, the young are born on land.
- The males are able to mate around 7 years of age but often don’t get to until they are much larger and stronger due to the competition. They are usually closer to the age of 15 when they take part in mating. Females will begin mating between the ages of 4 and 6.
- The average lifespan of a walrus in the wild is 16 to 30 years.
- It takes approximately 15 to 16 months after mating for the young to arrive, called calves. The process of delayed implantation occurs for the walrus so the development of the young in the mother’s body doesn’t even start until 3 or 4 months after mating has occurred.
- The walrus has very good hearing but their vision isn’t as good as other pinnipeds. Yet that doesn’t seem to prevent them from being able to survive in their natural habitat. They do have a very good sense of smell. Touch seems to be part of bonding for them, but due to the thickness of the skin, they aren’t very sensitive to touch.
- The walrus can remain under water for about 10 minutes. When they come to the surface for air, they will stay there for about 1 minute before going under again. Normally, they will surface every 5 to 8 minutes.
- Males and females will form separate herds. Mating is the time of year when they are going to be found in the same location.
- The hierarchy of a large group depends on the size of the body and the size of the tusks. The larger walrus are able to get the locations that they want.
- The diet for the walrus includes shrimp, crab, mollusks, and worms primarily. What they will consume depends on location as well as on the time of year. They are bottom feeders so they get their food from the sandy bottom of the shallow waters.
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