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Walrus


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The Walrus is a large, noisy mammal that spends most of its life in the sea, but also enjoys sunbathing on the beach. It is a large pinniped (related to seals and sea lions) that lives on the edge of the Arctic ice sheet. Walruses are often hunted by polar bears and killer whales (orcas). (Family Odobenidae)

Anatomy: The Walrus has reddish-brown fur, grows to be up to 14 feet (4.3 m) long and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg). The two tusks (very long teeth) can grow to be over 3 feet (1 m) long. Both males and females have tusks, but the males have slightly longer tusks. Walruses have 16 other, much shorter, teeth. Walruses have air sacs in their throat that let their head stay above the water - these air sacs act like a life preserver. A thick layer of fat insulates the walrus from the cold Arctic waters. The whiskers (called vibrissae) help the walrus' sense of touch. The nostrils are closed in the resting state. Walruses can walk on all four legs when they are on land.

Diet: Walruses are carnivores (meat-eaters); they eat mostly clams, snails, mussels, worms, sea cucumbers, and other animals that they find on the sea floor. If they are very hungry, they will eat seals.

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