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Walrus
Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus.
Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus
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Where are they found? AsiaEuropeGreenlandNorth America

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The average weight of an adult male walrus is about 760 kg (1,672 lb.), but some of the large Pacific bulls can attain weights of almost 1 500 kg (3,300 lb.). Bulls are about 35% heavier than cows.

Awkward and slow-moving on land, they are quite graceful and more belligerent in water. Wounded bulls have been known to attack hunters' boats. The animal's vocabulary consists of grunts and bellows, the latter sometimes carrying for 1.5 km (1 mi.) or more.

The walrus has long been a major resource of the Inuit, who use its hides for boat coverings and for thongs and dog traces. The bones and tusks are used for weapons, tools and carvings. Aside from humans, the walrus's principal enemies are the polar bear and killer whale.

This ponderous animal was once found as far south as the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Massachusetts coast. Jacques Cartier observed large colonies on Sable Island, Cape Breton Island and the Magdalen Islands, but early explorers and fishermen hunted these populations to extinction. Today, the walrus inhabits the edge of the Arctic ice sheet, appearing only as far south as James Bay and the eastern Labrador coast. The walrus displays a circumpolar distribution from central Russia across the Bering Strait to Greenland.


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Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Photo: Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus.


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