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Encyclopedia > Walrus
Walrus[1]

The Pacific Walrus (O. rosmarus divergens)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Superfamily: Pinnipedia
Family: Odobenidae
Allen, 1880
Genus: Odobenus
Brisson, 1762
Species: O. rosmarus
Binomial name
Odobenus rosmarus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Distribution of Walrus
Distribution of Walrus
Subspecies

O. rosmarus rosmarus
O. rosmarus divergens
O. rosmarus laptevi (debated) In addition to the animal, Walrus may refer to: Walrus, a song by the industrial metal group Ministry, from their 2004 album Houses of the Molé. Walrus, a Japanese atmospheric rock band. ... Marie-Ésprit-Léon Walras (December 16, 1834 in Évreux, France - January 5, 1910 in Clarens, near Montreux, Switzerland) was a French economist, considered by Joseph Schumpeter as the greatest of all economists. He was a mathematical economist associated with the creation of the general equilibrium theory. ... Download high resolution version (1284x801, 62 KB)Public domain image from U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species remaining extant either in the present day or the near future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn2. ... Least Concern (LC) is an IUCN category assigned to extant species or lower taxa which have been evaluated but do not qualify for any other category. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... Scientific classification redirects here. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria For the folk-rock band see The Mammals. ... Families 17, See classification The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: or ; from Latin carō (stem carn-) flesh, + vorāre to devour) includes over 260 species of placental mammals. ... Families Canidae Felidae Herpestidae Hyaenidae Mephitidae Mustelidae Nandiniidae Odobenidae Pinnipedia Procyonidae Ursidae Viverridae The diverse order Carnivora includes over 260 placental mammals. ... subfamilies Otariidae Phocidae Odobenidae Pinnipeds are large marine mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia, a family (sometimes a suborder or superfamily, depending on the classification scheme) of the order Carnivora. ... Mathurin Jacques Brisson Mathurin Jacques Brisson (April 30, 1723 – June 23, 1806) was a French zoologist and natural philosopher. ... Latin name redirects here. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Year 1758 (MDCCLVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 520 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (900 × 1037 pixel, file size: 271 KB, MIME type: image/png) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Walrus ...

The Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The Walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and Odobenus genus. It is subdivided into three subspecies:[1] the Atlantic Walrus (O. rosmarus rosmarus) found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Walrus (O. rosmarus divergens) found in the Pacific Ocean, and O. rosmarus laptevi, found in the Laptev Sea. Families Odobenidae Otariidae Phocidae Pinnipeds (fin-feet, lit. ... A Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a member of Order Cetacea A Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), a member of infrafamily Pinnipedia A West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), a member of Order Sirenia A pair of Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris), a member of family Mustelidae A Polar bear (Ursus maritimus), a member... The subarctic is a region in the Northern Hemisphere immediately south of the true Arctic and covering much of Canada and Siberia, the north of Scandinavia, northern Mongolia and the extreme north of Heilongjiang. ... Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... This article is about the zoological term. ... A map showing the location of the Laptev Sea. ...


The Walrus is immediately recognizable due to its prominent tusks, whiskers and great bulk. Adult Pacific males can weigh up to 4,500 lb (2,041 kg),[3] and, among pinnipeds, are exceeded in size only by the two species of elephant seals.[4] It resides primarily in shallow oceanic shelf habitat, spending a significant proportion of its life on sea ice in pursuit of its preferred diet of benthic bivalve mollusks. It is a relatively long-lived, social animal and is considered a keystone species in Arctic marine ecosystems. For other uses, see Tusk (disambiguation). ... This article is about vibrissae, often called whiskers. ... Look up pound in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Kg redirects here. ... Families Odobenidae Otariidae Phocidae Pinnipeds (fin-feet, lit. ... Species M. leonina M. angustirostris Elephant seals are large, oceangoing mammals in the genus Mirounga, in the earless seal family (Phocidae). ...  Sediment  Rock  Mantle  The global continental shelf, highlighted in cyan The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain, which is covered during interglacial periods such as the current epoch by relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Subclasses Anomalosdesmata Cryptodonta Heterodonta Paleoheterodonta Palaeotaxodonta Pteriomorphia and see text Mussels in the intertidal zone in Cornwall, England. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ...


The Walrus has played a prominent role in the cultures of many indigenous Arctic peoples, who have hunted the Walrus for its meat, fat, skin, tusks and bone. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Walrus was the object of heavy commercial exploitation for blubber and ivory and its numbers declined rapidly. Its global population has since rebounded, though the Atlantic and Laptev populations remain fragmented and at historically depressed levels. Main article: indigenous peoples This is a selected list of the worlds indigenous peoples. ... For other uses, see Meat (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... This article is about the organ. ... This article is about the skeletal organs. ... Remains of seventeenth century blubber cauldrons at the abandoned Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg in Svalbard, Norway This article is about the body tissue. ... Walrus tusk ivory comes from two modified upper canines. ...

Contents

Etymology

The origins of the word "walrus" has variously been attributed to combinations of the Dutch words walvis ("whale") and ros ("horse")[5] or wal ("shore") and reus ("giant").[6] However, the most likely origin of the word is the Old Norse hrossvalr, meaning "horse-whale", which was passed in a juxtaposed form to Dutch and the North-German dialects of the Hanseatic League as walros and Walross.[7] Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Carta marina of the Baltic Sea region (1539). ...


The now archaic English word for walrus morse is widely supposed to have come from the Slavic.[8] Thus морж (morž) in Russian, mors in Polish, also mursu in Finnish, moršâ in Saami, later morse in French, morsa in Spanish, etc.  Countries where a West Slavic language is the national language  Countries where an East Slavic language is the national language  Countries where a South Slavic language is the national language The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup... Sami is a general name for a group of Finno-Ugric languages spoken in parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, in Northern Europe. ...


The compound Odobenus comes from odous (Greek for "tooth") and baino (Greek for "walk"), based on observations of walruses using their tusks to pull themselves out of the water. Divergens in Latin means "turning apart", referring to the tusks. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ...


Taxonomy and evolution

The Walrus is a mammal in the order Carnivora. It is the sole surviving members of the family Odobenidae, one of three lineages in the suborder Pinnipedia along with true seals (Phocidae), and eared seals (Otariidae). While there has been some debate as to whether all three lineages are monophyletic, i.e. descended from a single ancestor, or diphyletic, recent genetic evidence suggests that all three descended from a Caniform ancestor most closely related to modern bears.[9] There remains uncertainty as to whether the odobenids diverged from the otariids before or after the phocids,[9] though the most recent synthesis of the molecular data suggests that the phocids were the first to diverge.[10] What is known, however, is that Odobenidae was once a highly diverse and widespread family, including at least twenty known species in the Imagotariinae, Dusignathinae and Odobeninae subfamilies.[11] The key distinguishing feature was the development of a squirt/suction feeding mechanism; tusks are a later feature specific to Odobeninae, of which the modern walrus is the last remaining (relict) species. In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). ... Families 17, See classification The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: or ; from Latin carō (stem carn-) flesh, + vorāre to devour) includes over 260 species of placental mammals. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. ... Scientific classification or biological classification refers to how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... subfamilies Otariidae Phocidae Odobenidae Pinnipeds are large marine mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia, a family (sometimes a suborder or superfamily, depending on the classification scheme) of the order Carnivora. ... Genera Monachus (Monk Seals) Mirounga (Elephant Seal) Lobodon (Crabeater Seals) Leptonychotes Hydrurga (Leopard Seals) Ommatophoca Erignathus (Bearded Seals) Phoca Halichoerus (Gray Seals) Cystophora (Hooded Seals) The true seals or earless seals are one of the three main groups of mammals within the seal suborder, Pinnipedia. ... In phylogenetics, a group is monophyletic (Greek: of one stem) if all organisms in that group are known to have developed from a common ancestral form, and all descendants of that form are included in the group. ... In phylogenetics, a group of organisms is said to be paraphyletic (Greek para = near and phyle = race) if the group contains its most recent common ancestor, but does not contain all the descendants of that ancestor. ... Families and clades Amphicyonidae (bear-dogs, extinct) Canidae (dogs and foxes) Mephitidae (skunks and stink badgers) Mustelidae (weasels, otters, badgers) Procyonidae (raccoons, coatimundis) Ursidae (bears) Ailuridae (Red Panda Pinnipedia (seals and walruses) Odobenidae (walrus) Otariidae (eared seals) Phocidae (earless seals) The Caniformia, or Canoidea (dog-like carnivores) are a suborder... For other uses, see Bear (disambiguation). ... The term relict is used to refer to surviving remnants of natural phenomena. ...


Two subspecies of the Walrus are commonly recognized: the Atlantic Walrus, O. r. rosmarus (Illiger, 1815) and the Pacific Walrus, O. r. divergens (Linnaeus, 1758). Fixed genetic differences between the Atlantic and Pacific subspecies indicate very restricted gene flow, but relatively recent separation, estimated to have occurred 500,000 and 785,000 years ago.[12] These dates coincide with the fossil derived hypothesis that the Walrus evolved from a tropical or sub-tropical ancestor that became isolated in the Atlantic Ocean and gradually adapted to colder conditions in the Arctic.[12] From there, it presumably re-colonized the North Pacific during high glaciation periods in the Pleistocene via the Central American Seaway.[10] A third, isolated population of the Walrus in the Laptev Sea is considered by some, including Russian biologists and the canonical Mammal Species of the World,[1] to be a third subspecies, O. r. laptevi (Chapskii, 1940), when it was described and is managed as such in Russia.[13] Where the subspecies separation is not accepted, there remains debate as to whether it should be considered a subpopulation of the Atlantic or Pacific subspecies.[14][4] The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) on the geologic timescale is the period from 1,808,000 to 11,550 years BP. The Pleistocene epoch had been intended to cover the worlds recent period of repeated glaciations. ... A map showing the location of the Laptev Sea. ...


Range and population

Walrus colony
Walrus colony

There were roughly 200,000 Pacific Walruses according to the last census-based estimation in 1990.[15][16] the majority of the Pacific Walrus population spends the summer north of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea along the north shore of eastern Siberia, around Wrangel Island, in the Beaufort Sea along the north shore of Alaska, and in the waters between those locations. Smaller numbers of males summer in the Gulf of Anadyr on the south shore of the Chukchi Peninsula of Siberia and in Bristol Bay off the south shore of southern Alaska west of the Alaska Peninsula. In the spring and fall they congregate throughout the Bering Strait, reaching from the west shores of Alaska to the Gulf of Anadyr. They winter to the south in the Bering Sea along the eastern shore of Siberia south to the northern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula, and along the southern shore of Alaska.[4] A 28,000 year old fossil Walrus specimen was dredged out of the San Francisco Bay, indicating that the Pacific Walrus ranged as far south as Northern California during the last ice age.[17] Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Photo across the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait (Russian: ) is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Russia, the easternmost point (169°43 W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, the westernmost point (168°05... Chukchi Sea (Russian: Чуко́тское мо́ре) is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, between Chukotka and Alaska. ... This article is about Siberia as a whole. ... This article is about the Russian island. ... Approximate area of the Beaufort Sea, and the disputed waters The Beaufort Sea is a large body of water north of The Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska and west of Canadas arctic islands that is a part of the Arctic Ocean. ... For other uses, see Alaska (disambiguation). ... The Gulf of Anadyr is a gulf in eastern Russia, sometimes known as Anadyr Bay. ... The Chukchi Peninsula, Chukotski Peninsula or Chukotsk Peninsula, at about 66° North, 169° East, is the northeastern extremity of Asia. ... Volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula The Alaska Peninsula is a peninsula extending about 800 km (500 miles) to the southwest from the mainland of Alaska and ending in the Aleutian Islands. ... “Kamchatka” redirects here. ... San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Golden Gate San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean. ... The Wisconsin (in North America), Devensian (in the British Isles), Midlandian (in Ireland), Würm (in the Alps), and Weichsel (in northern central Europe) glaciations are the most recent glaciations of the Pleistocene epoch, which ended around 10,000 BCE. The general glacial advance began about 70,000 BCE, and...


The Atlantic Walrus, which was nearly decimated by commercial harvest, is much smaller. Good estimates are difficult to obtain, but the total number is probably below 20,000.[18][19] It ranges from the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Svalbard and the western portion of the Russian Arctic. There are eight presumed sub-populations of the Atlantic Walrus based largely on geographical distribution and movement data, five to the west and three to the east of Greenland.[20] The Atlantic Walrus once enjoyed a range that extended south to Cape Cod and occurred in large numbers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In April 2006, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed the Northwest Atlantic Walrus population (Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador) as being extirpated in Canada.[21] This article is about the area of Massachusetts known as Cape Cod. For other uses, see Cape Cod (disambiguation). ... The Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the worlds largest estuary, is the outlet of North Americas Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. ... During the 1960s, a terrorist group known as the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) launched a decade of bombings, robberies and attacks on government offices. ... This article is about the Canadian province. ... Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit (Latin: One defends and the other conquers) Capital Halifax Largest city Halifax Regional Municipality Official languages English (de facto) Government Lieutenant-Governor Mayann E. Francis Premier Rodney MacDonald (PC) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament House seats 11 Senate seats 10 Confederation July 1, 1867... This article is about the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. ...


The isolated Laptev population is confined year-round to the central and western regions of the Laptev Sea, the easternmost regions of the Kara Sea, and the westernmost regions of the East Siberian Sea. Current populations are estimated to be between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals.[22] A map showing the location of the Kara Sea. ... East Siberian Sea (Russian: ) is a marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean. ...


Description

Young male Pacific Walruses on Cape Pierce in Alaska. Note the variation in the curvature and orientation of the tusks and the bumpy skin (bosses), typical of males.
Young male Pacific Walruses on Cape Pierce in Alaska. Note the variation in the curvature and orientation of the tusks and the bumpy skin (bosses), typical of males.
Walrus using tusks to hang on breathing hole in the ice near St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea.
Walrus using tusks to hang on breathing hole in the ice near St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea.
Skeleton
Skeleton

While isolated Pacific males can weigh as much as 2,000 kg (4,409 lb), most weigh between 800 kg (1,764 lb) and 1,800 kg (3,968 lb). Females weigh about two thirds as much as males, and the Atlantic subspecies is about 90% as massive as the Pacific subspecies.[4] The Atlantic Walrus also tends to have relatively shorter tusks and somewhat more flattened snouts. The body shape of the Walrus is in several ways intermediate between that of eared seals (Otariidae) and true seals (Phocidae). As with otariids, it has a prominent thick neck and the ability to turn its rear flippers forward and move on all fours; however, its swimming technique is more similar to that of true seals, relying less on flippers and more on sinuous whole body movements.[4] Like phocids, it also lacks external ears. For other uses, see Alaska (disambiguation). ... St. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A snout is the protruding portion of an animals face, consisting of its nose, mouth, and jaw. ... Genera Arctocephalus Callorhinus Eumetopias Neophoca Otaria Phocarctos Zalophus The eared seals (or walking seals), family Otariidae, are the fur seals and the sea lions. ... Genera Monachus (Monk Seals) Mirounga (Elephant Seal) Lobodon (Crabeater Seals) Leptonychotes Hydrurga (Leopard Seals) Ommatophoca Erignathus (Bearded Seals) Phoca Halichoerus (Grey Seals) Cystophora (Hooded Seals) The true seals or earless seals are one of the three main groups of mammals within the seal suborder, Pinnipedia. ...


The most prominent physical feature of the Walrus is its long tusks, actually elongated canines, which are present in both sexes and can reach a length of 1 m (3 ft) and 5.4 kg (12 lb).[23] These are slightly longer and thicker among males, who use them for fighting, dominance and display; the strongest males with the largest tusks typically dominating social groups. Tusks are also used to form and maintain holes in the ice and haul out onto ice.[24] It was previously assumed that tusks were used to dig out prey items from the seabed, but analyses of abrasion patterns on the tusks indicate that they are dragged through the sediment while the upper edge of the snout is used for digging.[25] The Walrus has relatively few teeth other than the great canine tusks, and typically has a dental formula of: The Canine teeth are the long, pointed teeth used for grabbing hold of and tearing apart foods, also called cuspids, dogteeth or fangs. Species that feature them, such as humans and dogs, usually have four, two in the top jaw, two in the lower, on either side of the Incisors. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Dentition is the development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth. ...

1.1.3.0
0.1.3.0

Surrounding the tusks is a broad mat of stiff bristles ('mystacial vibrissae'), giving the Walrus a characteristic whiskered appearance. There can be 400 to 700 vibrissae in 13 to 15 rows reaching 30 cm (12 in) in length, though in the wild they are often worn to a much shorter length due to constant use in foraging.[26] The vibrissae are attached to muscles and are supplied with blood and nerves making the vibrissal array a highly sensitive organ capable of differentiating shapes 0.3 cm (0.12 in) thick and 0.2 cm (0.08 in) wide.[26] This article is about vibrissae, often called whiskers. ...


Aside from the vibrissae, the Walrus is sparsely covered with fur and appears bald. Its skin is highly wrinkled and thick, up to 10 cm (4 in) around the neck and shoulders of males. The blubber layer beneath is up to 15 cm (6 in) thick. Young walruses are deep brown and grow paler and more cinnamon colored as they age. Old males, in particular, become nearly pink. Because the blood vessels in the skin constrict in cold water, the Walrus can appear almost white when swimming. As a secondary sexual characteristic, males also acquire significant nodules, called bosses, particularly around the neck and shoulders.[24] Remains of seventeenth century blubber cauldrons at the abandoned Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg in Svalbard, Norway This article is about the body tissue. ... Secondary sex characteristics are traits that distinguish the two sexes of a species, but that are not directly part of the reproductive system. ...


The Walrus has an air sac under its throat which acts like a flotation bubble and allows the Walrus to bob vertically in the water and sleep. The males possess a large baculum (penis bone), up to 63 cm (25 in) in length, the largest of any mammal both absolutely and relative to body size.[4] The baculum (also penis bone, penile bone or os penis) is a bone found in the penis of most mammals. ...


Life cycle

Walruses fighting
Walruses fighting

The Walrus lives around 50 years. The males reach sexual maturity as early as 7 years, but do not typically mate until fully developed around 15 years of age. They go into a rut in January through April, decreasing their food intake dramatically. The females can begin ovulating as soon as 4–6 years old. The females are polyestrous, coming into heat in late summer and also around February, yet the males are only fertile around February; the potential fertility of this second period of estrous is unknown. Breeding occurs from January to March with peak conception in February. Males aggregate in the water around ice-bound groups of estrous females and engage in competitive vocal displays.[27] The females join them and copulation occurs in the water.[24] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Total gestation lasts 15 to 16 months, though 3 to 4 of those months are spent with the blastula in suspended development before finally implanting itself in the placenta. This strategy of delayed implantation, common among other pinnipeds, presumably evolved to optimize both the season when females select their mates and the season when the birth itself occurs, determined by ecological conditions that promote survival of the young.[28] The calves are born during the spring migration from April to June. They weigh 45 kg (99 lb) to 75 kg (165 lb) at birth and are able to swim. The mothers nurse for over a year before weaning, but the young can spend up to 3 to 5 years with the mothers.[24] Because ovulation is suppressed until the calf is weaned, females give birth at most once every two years, resulting in the Walrus having the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped.[29] Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. ... Blastulation. ... Embryonic diapause is a reproductive strategy used by close to 100 different mammals in seven different orders. ...


In the non-reproductive season (late summer and fall) the Walrus tends to migrate away from the ice and form massive aggregations of tens of thousands of individuals on rocky beaches or outcrops. The nature of the migration between the reproductive period and the summer period can be a rather long distance and dramatic. In late spring and summer, for example, several hundred thousand Pacific Walruses migrate from the Bering sea into the Chukchi sea through the relatively narrow Bering Strait.[24] Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Photo across the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait (Russian: ) is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Russia, the easternmost point (169°43 W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, the westernmost point (168°05...


Feeding

Vibrissae of captive walrus (Japan)
Vibrissae of captive walrus (Japan)
Walruses leaving the water
Walruses leaving the water

The Walrus prefers shallow shelf regions and forages on the sea bottom. Its dives are not particularly deep compared to other pinnipeds; the deepest recorded dives are around 80 m (262 ft). However, it can remain submerged for as long as a half hour.[30] This article is about vibrissae, often called whiskers. ...


The Walrus has a highly diverse and opportunistic diet, feeding on more than 60 genera of marine organisms including shrimps, crabs, tube worms, soft corals, tunicates, sea cucumbers, various mollusks, and even parts of other pinnipeds.[31] However, it displays great preference for benthic bivalve mollusks, especially species of clams, for which it forages by grazing along the sea bottom, searching and identifying prey with its sensitive vibrissae and clearing the murky bottoms with jets of water and active flipper movements.[32] The Walrus sucks the meat out by sealing the organism in the powerful lips and drawing the tongue, piston-like, rapidly into the mouth, creating a vacuum. The Walrus palate is uniquely vaulted, allowing for extremely effective suction to be generated by the tongue. Superfamilies Alpheoidea Atyoidea Bresilioidea Campylonotoidea Crangonoidea Galatheacaridoidea Nematocarcinoidea Oplophoroidea Palaemonoidea Pandaloidea Pasiphaeoidea Procaridoidea Processoidea Psalidopodoidea Stylodactyloidea True shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. ... For other uses, see Crab (disambiguation). ... The name tube worm describes several groups of marine worms that secrete tubes which they then inhabit, emerging to filter feed. ... Extant Subclasses and Orders Alcyonaria    Alcyonacea    Helioporacea Zoantharia    Antipatharia    Corallimorpharia    Scleractinia    Zoanthidea [1][2]  See Anthozoa for details For other uses, see Coral (disambiguation). ... Classes Ascidiacea (2,300 species) Thaliacea Appendicularia Sorberacea Urochordata (sometimes known as tunicata and commonly called urochordates, tunicates, sea squirts) is the subphylum of saclike filter feeders with incurrent and excurrent siphons. ... Orders Subclass Apodacea Apodida Molpadiida Subclass Aspidochirotacea Aspidochirotida Elasipodida Subclass Dendrochirotacea Dactylochirotida Dendrochirotida The sea cucumber is an echinoderm of the class Holothuroidea, with an elongated body and leathery skin, which is found on the sea floor worldwide. ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora Monoplacophora Bivalvia Scaphopoda Gastropoda Cephalopoda † Rostroconchia The mollusks or molluscs are the large and diverse phylum Mollusca, which includes a variety of familiar creatures well-known for their decorative shells or as seafood. ... For other uses, see Clam (disambiguation). ...


Aside from the large numbers of organisms actually consumed by the Walrus, it has a large peripheral impact on the benthic communities while foraging. It disturbs (bioturbates) the sea floor, releasing nutrients into the water column, encouraging mixing and movement of many organisms and increasing the patchiness of the benthos.[25] In oceanography and limnology, the displacement and mixing of sediment particles by benthic fauna (animals) or flora (plants) is termed bioturbation. ...


Seal tissue has been observed in fairly significant proportion of Walrus stomachs in the Pacific, but the importance of seals in the Walrus diet is debated.[33] There have been rare documented incidents of predation on seabirds, particularly the Brünnich's Guillemot Uria lomvia.[34] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Due to its great size, the Walrus has only two natural predators: the Orca and the Polar Bear. It does not, however, comprise a significant component of either predator's diet. The Polar Bear hunts the Walrus by rushing at beached aggregations and consuming those individuals that are crushed or wounded in the sudden mass exodus, typically younger or infirm animals.[35] However, even an injured Walrus is a formidable opponent for a Polar Bear, and direct attacks are rare. Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... This article is about the animal. ...


Exploitation and status

Siberian Yupik woman holding Walrus tusks.
Walrus tusk engraving made by Chukchi artisans depicting polar bears attacking walruses. On display in the Magadan Regional Museum, Magadan, Russia.
Walrus tusk engraving made by Chukchi artisans depicting polar bears attacking walruses. On display in the Magadan Regional Museum, Magadan, Russia.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Walrus was heavily exploited by American and European sealers and whalers, leading to the near extirpation of the Atlantic population.[36] Commercial harvest of the Walrus is now outlawed throughout its range, though a traditional subsistence hunt continues among Chukchi, Yupik and Inuit peoples.[37] The Walrus hunt occurs towards the end of the summer. Traditionally, all parts of the walrus was used.[38] The meat, often preserved, is an important source of nutrition through the winter; the flippers are fermented and stored as a delicacy until spring; tusks and bone were historically used for tools as well as material for handicrafts; the oil was rendered for warmth and light; the tough hide is used for rope and house and boat coverings; the intestines and gut linings are used for making waterproof parkas; etc. While some of these uses have faded with access to alternative technologies, walrus meat remains an important part of local diets,[39] and tusk carving and engraving remain a vital art form among many communities. Siberian Yupik are an indigenous people who reside along the coast of the Chukchi Peninsula in the far northeast of the Russian Federation and the St. ... Chukchi, or Chukchee (Russian: чукчи (plural), chukcha, чукча (singular)) are an indigenous people inhabiting the Russian Far East on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea. ... Magadan (Russian: ), a port city on the Sea of Okhotsk and gateway to the Kolyma region, is the administrative center of Magadan Oblast (since 1953), in the Russian Far East. ... ... The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ... Chukchi, or Chukchee (Russian: чукчи (plural), chukcha, чукча (singular)) are an indigenous people inhabiting the Russian Far East on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea. ... This article is about Yupik peoples in general. ... For other uses, see Inuit (disambiguation). ...


Walrus hunts are regulated by resource managers in Russia, the U.S., Canada and Denmark and representatives of the respective Walrus hunting communities. An estimated four to seven thousand Pacific Walruses are harvested in Alaska and Russia, including a significant portion (approx. 42%) of struck and lost animals.[40] Several hundred are removed annually around Greenland.[41] The sustainability of these levels of harvest are difficult to determine since there is considerable uncertainty in the population estimates themselves and in the population parameters such as fecundity and mortality. For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... Fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (e. ...


The effects of global climate change on the Walrus populations is another element of concern. In particular, there have been well-documented reductions on the extent and thickness of the pack ice which the Walrus relies on as a substrate for giving birth and aggregating in the reproductive period. It is hypothesized that thinner pack ice over the Bering Sea has reduced the amount of suitable resting habitat near optimal feeding grounds. This causes greater separation of lactating females from their calves leading to nutritional stress for the young or lower reproductive rates for the females.[42] However, there is as yet little data to make reliable predictions on the impacts of changing climate conditions on total population trends. The term climate change is used to refer to changes in the Earths climate. ...


Currently, two of the three Walrus subspecies are listed as "least-concern" by the IUCN, while the third is "data deficient".[2] The Pacific Walrus is not listed as "depleted" according to the Marine Mammal Protection Act nor as "threatened" or "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. The Russian Atlantic and Laptev Sea populations are classified as Category 2 (decreasing) and Category 3 (rare) in the Russian Red Book.[43] Global trade in Walrus ivory is restricted according to a CITES Appendix 3 listing. The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 prohibits, with certain exceptions, the take of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S. Congress defines take as “harass, hunt, capture... For other uses, see ESA (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Red book (Russia). ... Walrus tusk ivory comes from two modified upper canines. ... The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between Governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). ...


Folklore and culture

Walrus Ivory masks made by Yupik in Alaska.
Walrus Ivory masks made by Yupik in Alaska.

The Walrus plays an important role in the religion and folklore of many Arctic peoples. The skin and bones are used in some ceremonies and the animal itself appears frequently in legends. For example, in a Chukchi version of the widespread myth of the Raven, in which Raven recovers the sun and the moon from an evil spirit by seducing his daughter, the angry father throws the daughter from a high cliff and, as she drops into the water, she turns into a Walrus - possibly the original Walrus. According to various versions, the tusks are formed either by the trails of mucus from the weeping girl or her long braids.[44] This myth is possibly related to the Chukchi myth of the old Walrus-headed woman who rules the bottom of the sea, who is in turn linked to the Inuit goddess Sedna. Both in Chukotka and Alaska, the aurora borealis is believed to be a special world inhabited by those who died by violence, the changing rays representing deceased souls playing ball with a Walrus head.[44][45] This article is about Yupik peoples in general. ... For other uses, see Alaska (disambiguation). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1073x710, 983 KB)A scene from The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Caroll, drawn by Sir John Tenniel in 1871. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1073x710, 983 KB)A scene from The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Caroll, drawn by Sir John Tenniel in 1871. ... 1889 Self-portrait Caterpillar using a hookah. ... The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll (), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... The Walrus and the Carpenter speaking to the Oysters, as portrayed by illustrator John Tenniel The Walrus and the Carpenter is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appeared in his book Through the Looking-Glass, published in December 1871. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Ravens in popular culture. ... In Inuit mythology, Sedna (Inuktitut Sanna, ᓴᓐᓇ) is a sea goddess and mistress of the animals, especially mammals such as seals, of the ocean. ... Aurora borealis Polar aurorae are optical phenomena characterized by colorful displays of light in the night sky. ...


Because of its distinctive appearance and immediately recognizable whiskers and tusks, the Walrus also appears in the popular cultures of peoples with little immediate experience with the animal, most often in children's literature. Perhaps its best known appearance is in Lewis Carroll's whimsical poem The Walrus and the Carpenter that appears in his book Through the Looking-Glass (1871). In the poem, the eponymous anti-heroes use trickery to consume a great number of oysters. Although Carroll accurately portrays the biological Walrus's appetite for bivalve mollusks, oysters do not naturally occur within the Arctic and sub-Arctic range of the Walrus.[citation needed] The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll (), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... The Walrus and the Carpenter speaking to the Oysters, as portrayed by illustrator John Tenniel The Walrus and the Carpenter is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appeared in his book Through the Looking-Glass, published in December 1871. ... Through the Looking Glass redirects here. ... An eponym is a person (real or fictitious) whose name has become identified with a particular object or activity. ... In literature and film, an anti-hero is a central or supporting character that has some of the personality flaws and ultimate fortune traditionally assigned to villains but nonetheless also have enough heroic qualities or intentions to gain the sympathy of readers or viewers. ... For other uses, see Oyster (disambiguation). ...


The Walrus from Lewis Carroll's poem was the inspriation for The Beatles song I Am the Walrus, written by John Lennon. Lennon referred to the song, and the Walrus, in two other songs, Glass Onion and God. Paul McCartney is dressed as a Walrus on the cover of The Beatles' album on which I am the Walrus appears, Magical Mystery Tour, while Lennon himself appeared in Walrus drag in the film of the song that appears in the Magical Mystery Tour movie. At the time the song appeared, and years before Lennon himself explained that the Carroll poem was the genesis of the song, there was speculation on what the Walrus symbolized in The Beatles song. During the "Paul is Dead" imboglio, journalist John Neary, the author of the cover story "The Magical McCartney Mystery" in LIFE Magazine's November 7, 1969 issue, incorrectly claimed that the "black walrus was a folk symbol of death."[46] The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... Music sample I Am the Walrus Problems? See media help. ... John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), (born John Winston Lennon, known as John Ono Lennon) was an iconic English 20th century rock and roll songwriter and singer, best known as the founding member of The Beatles. ... Glass onions were large hand blown glass bottles used aboard sailing ships to hold wine or brandy. ... This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, entrepreneur, painter, record producer, film producer, and animal-rights activist. ... Magical Mystery Tour is an album by British rock band The Beatles, first released in late November 1967. ... Magical Mystery Tour, starring The Beatles, is an hour-long television film that initially aired on BBC1 on Boxing Day in 1967. ... Paul McCartney Dead: The Great Hoax, a magazine reporting on the rumours concerning McCartney. ... A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ...


Other examples of appearance of the animal in the popular culture include The Jungle Book story by Rudyard Kipling, where it is the "old Sea Vitch—the big, ugly, bloated, pimpled, fat-necked, long-tusked walrus of the North Pacific, who has no manners except when he is asleep" who tells the white seal Kotick where to seek advice for his mission.[citation needed] Embossed cover from the original MacMillan edition of The Jungle Book, 1894, based on art by John Lockwood Kipling (Rudyards father) For other uses, see The Jungle Book (disambiguation). ... This article is about the British author. ...


See also

Look up Walrus in
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Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... // Arctic ecology is the scientific study of the relationships between biotic and abiotic factors in the arctic, the region north of the Arctic Circle (66 33’). This is a region characterized by stressful conditions as a result of extreme cold, low precipitation, a limited growing season (50-90 days) and...

References

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Image File history File links Wikispecies-logo. ... Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation that aims to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species (including animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, and protista). ... is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Families 17, See classification The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: or ; from Latin carō (stem carn-) flesh, + vorāre to devour) includes over 260 species of placental mammals. ... Phyla Subkingdom Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subkingdom Agnotozoa Placozoa Orthonectida Rhombozoa Subkingdom Metazoa Radiata Cnidaria Ctenophora - Comb jellies Bilateria Protostomia Acoelomorpha Platyhelminthes - Flatworms Nemertina - Ribbon worms Gastrotricha Gnathostomulida - Jawed worms Micrognathozoa Rotifera - Rotifers Acanthocephala Priapulida Kinorhyncha Loricifera Entoprocta Nematoda - Roundworms Nematomorpha - Horsehair worms Cycliophora Mollusca - Mollusks Sipuncula - Peanut worms Annelida - Segmented... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... Orders[1] Bobolestes Eomaia Maelestes Montanalestes Murtoilestes Prokennalestes Placentalia Superorder Xenarthra: Cingulata (Armadillos) Pilosa (Sloths, True Anteaters) Superorder Afrotheria: Afrosoricida (Tenrecs, etc. ... Laurasiatheria is a proposed clade with the rank of cohort or super-order, of the Epitheria infraclass of the Placentalia (living) or Eutheria (Placentals and their extinct ancestors) subclass of Mammals, based on molecular and DNA research It is a sister group to Euarchontoglires. ... Families Canidae Felidae Herpestidae Hyaenidae Mephitidae Mustelidae Nandiniidae Odobenidae Pinnipedia Procyonidae Ursidae Viverridae The diverse order Carnivora includes over 260 placental mammals. ... Binomial name Nandinia binotata Gray, 1830 The African Palm Civet (Nandinia binotata), also known as the Two-spotted Palm Civet, is a small mammal, with short legs, small ears, a body resembling a cat, and a long lithe tail as long as its body. ... Species Prionodon linsang Prionodon pardicolor The Asiatic linsangs are two species traditionally classified in the mammalian family Prionodontidae, recently elevated from the family Viverridae. ... “Feline” redirects here. ... Subfamilies Cryptoproctinae Euplerinae Hemigalinae Paradoxurinae Viverrinae The 35 species of civet, genet and linsang make up the family Viverridae. ... This article is about the species of animal. ... Subfamilies Euplerinae Galidiinae The family Eupleridae is a group of Malagasy carnivores. ... For other uses, see Mongoose (disambiguation). ... Families Canidae Felidae Herpestidae Hyaenidae Mephitidae Mustelidae Nandiniidae Odobenidae Pinnipedia Procyonidae Ursidae Viverridae The diverse order Carnivora includes over 260 placental mammals. ... Genera Alopex Atelocynus Canis Cerdocyon Chrysocyon Cuon Cynotherium † Dusicyon † Dasycyon † Fennecus (Part of Vulpes) Lycalopex (Part of Pseudalopex) Lycaon Nyctereutes Otocyon Pseudalopex Speothos Urocyon Vulpes The Canidae (′kanə′dÄ“, IPA: ) family is a part of the order Carnivora within the mammals (Class Mammalia). ... For other uses, see Bear (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Ailurus fulgens Cuvier, 1825 The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens Latin fire colored cat) Chinese: 小熊貓; (pinyin: xiǎo xióng māo) or lesser panda, is a mostly vegetarian cat-sized (60 cm long) mammal. ... Polecat redirects here. ... Subfamilies Lutrinae Melinae Mellivorinae Taxidiinae Mustelinae Mustelidae is a family of carnivorous mammals. ... Genera Procyon Nasua Cyonasua - extinct Chapalmalania - extinct Nasuella Bassariscus Bassaricyon Potos Procyonidae is a family of carnivores which includes the raccoons, coatis and others. ... Genera Arctocephalus Callorhinus Eumetopias Neophoca Otaria Phocarctos Zalophus The eared seals (or walking seals), family Otariidae, are the fur seals and the sea lions. ... Genera Monachus (Monk Seals) Mirounga (Elephant Seal) Lobodon (Crabeater Seals) Leptonychotes Hydrurga (Leopard Seals) Ommatophoca Erignathus (Bearded Seals) Phoca Halichoerus (Grey Seals) Cystophora (Hooded Seals) The true seals or earless seals are one of the three main groups of mammals within the seal suborder, Pinnipedia. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Walrus - Fact Sheet (2135 words)
Walrus belong to the family Odobenidae - a line of marine carnivores that was highly diversified in the late Miocene and early Pliocene periods.
Several populations of Atlantic walrus occur in Canada and Greenland, while the Pacific walrus is represented by a single stock of animals which inhabits the Bering and Chukchi seas.
Walrus calves accompany their mother from birth and are not weaned for 2 years or more.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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