What do walrus do with their tusks?

Walruses use their long tusks to haul up, forage, and defend. Mainly, tusks are for social dominance and mating displays. To escape orcas, walruses sink tusks into ice sheets to hoist up and away from being a meal. Besides predators, walruses also use tusks to keep rivals away. Some walruses get violent if another takes over territory or if a human steps into mating areas. This warns the predator. In fact, some walruses even pick fights with polar bears. Eight facts: 1) Walruses spend two thirds of life in water. They use tusks to haul out of water onto sea ice. Tusks are also used for fighting and defense. Tusks grow continually like incisors of rodents, elephants and a few mammals. Increases happen in length and mass with age. Walruses use tusks to help climb ice, fight predators and threaten rivals. Both genders have tusks. Some walruses kill and eat seals and seabirds. Kids: Tusks are upper canines. Important for pulling out of water, making breathing holes in ice, and conflicts. Do not use to kill prey. Vary in shape and size. Learn more about walrus tusk uses and why humans hunted them. Walrus genus name “tooth-walker.” Tusks also make weapons against polar bears and grappling hooks over slippery ice. Walruses spend time sunning while drifting on pack ice. Blubber beneath skin helps protect from cold.

Where does walruses live?

The walrus lives around the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean. Walruses live along the coasts of Europe, Asia, North America and the Arctic islands.

Walruses prefer snow-covered moving pack ice or ice floes to land. They haul out on small rocky islands when ice is not present.

The walrus’ main predators are the killer whale and the polar bear. The bear attacks the walrus when it is diving.

Walruses can dive to 150-200 meters but prefer depths less than 100 meters. Walruses slow their heart rate when diving to conserve energy.

Pregnancy in walruses lasts 15-16 months. Females protect calves by clutching them and diving into the water if threatened.

Walruses have excellent hearing and can hear sounds up to a mile away.

The Atlantic walrus is found in parts of Europe but largely inhabits southern Hudson Bay to Ellesmere Island. The largest Atlantic walrus herd is in the Foxe Basin near Baffin Island.

Walruses use their long tusks to pull themselves from the water, break breathing holes in ice, and establish territory. Males also use tusks to protect females during mating season.

What do walruses like to eat?

Walruses eat clams, crustaceans, mollusks and fish. They rarely chase prey, instead feast on invertebrates like cephalopods and sea cucumbers. To find food, walruses use their whiskers, moving their snout along the bottom, scavenging the area.

Walruses mostly prefer clams. They eat clams by sealing their lips onto the shell, swiftly pulling back their tongues to create a vacuum-like move, sucking the fleshy siphon out. Walruses do not chew food, yet sometimes use teeth to crush clams, shells and small invertebrates.

Scientists found sand, pebbles and small stones inside walrus stomachs, evidence they might swallow particles of seafloor as they sweep it off for food.

Walruses are Arctic Circle creatures, considered one of the largest fin-footed sea mammals.

They mainly eat invertebrates on the ocean floor or among rocks and algae. When preferred prey not available, they can eat larger organisms including mammals.

Adult walrus eat about 5% of body weight daily. Diet is 2,000 pounds of clams, worms and fish. In one feeding, 6,000 clams. They eat twice a day.

Walruses have two predators: polar bears and orcas. Polar bears usually avoid adult walruses fearing injury from long tusks.

Do walruses live on land or water?

Walruses spend two-thirds of their lives in the water. They haul out on land to rest and bear their young. Walruses prefer snow-covered moving pack ice or ice floes to land.

Walruses make habitats in drifting ice floes, shallow marine areas, island beaches, open water habitats with massive ice packs such as polynyas. They don’t prefer to haul on thin ice or hard ice that they cannot break through to catch seals.

During the breeding season, the female walrus takes to the ice floes where it gives birth. The female and its newborn calf will probably haul on land if ice floes become too thin. However both mother and a calf will remain closer to the ice floes.

Walruses are relatively long-lived, social animals. They are considered to be a “keystone species” in the Arctic marine regions. Walruses live mostly in shallow waters above the continental shelves. They spend significant amounts of their lives on the sea ice looking for benthic bivalve mollusks to eat.

Walruses mate in the water. Gestation lasts about 15 to 16 months. A single calf is born during the spring migration from April to June. The calves weigh about 99–170 pounds at birth and are able to swim.

Female walruses nurse their calves for over a year. But the calves usually spend 3 to 5 years with their mothers. Walruses give birth only every two years. Walruses have the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped.

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