Walrus are marine mammals. They live both on land and in water. Walruses breathe air and have long tusks. Walruses only have two natural predators, the polar bear and the orca. Learn more about walruses with these amazing walrus facts for kids.
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What is a Walrus?
Walruses are marine mammals. The scientific name for a walrus is Odobenus Rosmarus. It is Latin for tooth walking sea-horse. A male walrus is called a bull. A females walrus is called a cow and a baby walrus is called calf. Walruses spend half their time on land and the other half in water. There are two sub-species of walruses. The Atlantic Walrus and the Pacific Walrus.
Where do Walruses Live?
Walruses live in the Northern Hemisphere in the Arctic.
Walruses live in the Northern Hemisphere in the Arctic near the North Pole. They are found in both the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
Atlantic Walruses live in coastal areas near Northern Canada to Greenland. Pacific Walruses live near Alaska and Russia.
Walruses are social animals and live in groups called herds. Herds range in sizes from a few walruses to over 1,000 walruses.
What do Walruses Look Like?
Walruses have 4 flippers. They have 2 front flippers and two back flippers. Walruses are grey or brown but turn a pinkish color as they age. Walruses have thick skin and then a layer of blubber. Their bubbler helps them deal with the freezing temperatures sometimes as low and -31 degrees.
Their blubber keeps them warm in icy waters. Walruses have enormous bodies, adult walruses grow to be 7.5 pounds to 11.5ft. They can weigh up to 4,000 pounds.
Walrus whiskers are called vibrissae. They have 450 whiskers. Their whiskers are very sensitive and are used to help them locate food.
Both male and female walruses have tusks. The males have larger tusks. Walrus tusks are actually large canine teeth. Walrus tusks never stop growing. Tusks can be 3 feet long. Walruses use their tusks to pull themselves out of the water. The Pacific Walrus are larger than the Atlantic Walrus.
What do Walruses Eat?
Walruses are carnivores. Carnivores are animals that eat meat. They dive to the bottom of the ocean to search for food used their whiskers. Walruses like to grab shellfish including clams, mussels, soft corals, sea cucumbers and other things found at the bottom of the ocean on the sea floor.
Female walruses give birth to their babies on land or ice floes. Ice floes are large masses of ice floating in the water. Mother walruses give birth to one baby walrus, twins are rare. Baby walruses weigh between 100-165 pounds! At month old they will become strong swimmers.
Walruses are mammals and drink milk from their mothers after birth. This usually happens in the water, but can also be done on the ice. Walrus milk is 30% fat, 5-10% protein and 60% water.
Calves will only drink milk from their mother until they are around six months old. At six months calves will try solid food. Calves will continue to drink milk from their mother until they are two-years-old.
Mother walruses are protective of their baby. They will stay and nurture their baby until they reach adulthood. Female calves will join their mother’s heard. Male walruses will stay in their mother’s heard for 2-5 years and then go off to find all all male heard.
Amazing Walrus Facts for Kids
- Walruses can dive down 260ft into the ocean.
- Walruses can hold their breath under water for up to 30 minutes.
- On average the swim 4.3 miles per hour, but reach speeds of 21 mph
Walruses have two predators. The Orca or Killer Whale and the Polar Bear.
- Their two large upper teeth are called tusks. Walruses can use their tusks to cut holes in the ice.
- Walruses swim in extremely cold water.
- They have the ability to slow their heart rate.
- They become aggressive towards each other during mating season.
- Walruses live between 30-40 years in the wild.
Are Walruses an Endangered Species?
Currently walruses are not on the endangered species list but have protective status. Walruses were once hunted for their tusks. It is not longer legal to hunt walruses for their tusks. Eskimos still depend on walruses for survival and are allowed to hunt them. The number of walruses living in the wild is declining from loss of habitat due to climate change.
Walrus Coloring Pages
Click the links below to print these free walrus coloring pages.