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View Full Version : Tuesday Trivia: Walruses



Star lover
June 19th, 2018, 07:06 AM
A walrus consumes between 3 and 6 percent of its body weight in food each day, which is a lot of food when you consider that a typical adult walrus weighs upwards of 3,000 pounds.

While they'll dine on all sorts of sea creatures, clams are their favorite. How many clams? Between 3,000 and 6,000 in a single feeding session.

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Other interesting facts about walruses:

- Walrus are huge: Walrus aren’t called the Giants or Kings of the Arctic for no reason! Adult walrus are typically about 7.25 to 11.5 feet in size and can weigh up to 1.5 tons (3,000 lbs or 1,360 kg). The weight of a small car!

- They live up to 40 years in the wild.

- Both male and female walrus have large tusks: They use their tusks for cutting through ice and getting out of the water, as well as defence and for males, to demonstrate dominance. The larger the tusks, the more dominant the male. Tusks can be as long as 3 feet (0.9 m) for males! The males have larger tusks. Walrus tusks are actually their large teeth. Walrus tusks never stop growing.

- Walrus are social animals: They congregate in large numbers, with groups of walrus called “herds”. Herds are usually segregated by gender, with females and males, each having their own herd.

- Female Walruses give birth to their babies on land or on ice floes. Baby walruses weigh between 100-165 pounds! Females give birth after about 15 months, and they are known for *doting on their children, cuddling them like *human mothers and caring for them until they’re about 5 years old. As soon as the calf is born, it can swim. It will swim along with its mother for the first three years of its life. Then, at 3 years old, the male calves will go off to live with the male herd. At 15, the male will start to mate. Females will mate as soon they reach 5 years old.

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- The worldwide population of the walrus is estimated at 250,000. Atlantic walrus only make up about 20,000 of the total walrus population.

- The largest walrus herd in Canada occurs in Foxe Basin. The Foxe Basin herd is approximately 5,000 walrus strong and they can often be seen here lounging in groups on the pack ice. With numerous polynyas (areas of open water surrounded by pack ice), Foxe Basin is a great habitat for walrus. With easy access to Foxe Basin from the historic community of Igloolik, Arctic Kingdom travellers can witness the majesty of the mighty walrus on our Kings of the Arctic safari.

- Orcas and polar bears are their only natural predators.

- Walrus can withstand freezing temperatures as low as -35°C (-31°F). Layers of blubber (about 6" worth) stored beneath their skin helps insulate them from the cold. They are also capable of slowing their heartbeat to endure the temperature, allowing them to live comfortably in the Arctic.

- They live in shallow water but dive deeper in search of food. Walrus can dive up to 90 m and stay under water for long periods of time – up to 30 minutes! They are also quite graceful in the water and swim at an average speed of 7 km/h (4.35 mph) and up to 35 km/h (21.74 mph).While their vision isn’t great in murky waters, they rely on vibrissae (whiskers) to help them find foods including clams, mollusks, sea cucumbers and more. They have 450 whiskers.

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- On land, walruses are big, blubbery creatures, but they’re still fast. Unlike seals, which drag their bodies with their flippers, walruses can run on all fours.

- Walruses even have a special method for eating *shellfish such as clams and mussels: They hold the shell in their mouth with their lips sealed around it, then create such strong suction with their tongue that the meat pops out of the shell.

- Native people of the Arctic hunt walruses for hides, food, ivory and bones. These natives are now the only people who are allowed to legally hunt walruses.

- Recent studies have found that, on land, these hulks can snooze for an uninterrupted 19 hours. They can sometimes stay awake for roughly three and a half straight days while at sea.

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auntstuff
June 19th, 2018, 07:53 AM
I just can't see a walrus and NOT think Alice in Wonderland

Hulamoon
June 19th, 2018, 11:54 AM
I just can't see a walrus and NOT think Alice in Wonderland

Or the Beatles.

auntstuff
June 19th, 2018, 12:03 PM
Yeah, that too!

GuitarGramma
June 19th, 2018, 12:51 PM
Fascinating! At Sea World, I once got to see a walrus right up against the glass. He was overwhelmingly huge. While we were all perfectly safe, it was still kind of scary. The numbers you've posted explain why!

Hulamoon
June 19th, 2018, 01:01 PM
When we went to Florida we went to a manatee exhibit. They are huge too, but so graceful in the water.