Feral February Episode 1 – The Wrinkly Walrus

The wrinkled walrus, with its burly mustache and long tusks, is commonly found around the Arctic, resting on land or ice floes in large groups of hundreds of individuals.

The most recognizable feature of the walrus are its tusks, which are overgrown canine teeth that can reach around a metre in length and weigh over 10 pounds. The tusks have a variety of uses, aside from territory defense and males protecting the females during the mating season. Researchers have observed walrus’ using their tusks to make holes in the ice and even help pull themselves out of the water.

Walrus

A walrus using its tusks to support itself while grabbing a breath from a hole in the ice. Photo courtesy of Eliezg via Wikimedia commons. Source

 

The whiskers of the walrus’ mustache, called mustacial vibrissae, are used to detect food, such as shellfish, sea snails, shrimp and more hidden in the depths. They can dive for over 25 minutes at a depth of over 80 metres. The prey is then excavated with its nose, accompanied by jets of water from the mouth, and sucked up like a vacuum cleaner.

And lastly, for the trivia buffs out there:

The male walrus possess an extra bone compared to the female, called a baculum (aka a penis bone), which is longer than half-a-metre in length, the largest of any land mammal!

Comment (1)

  1. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I loved this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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