The body weight of an adult walrus ranges from 800 to 1700 kg. And some giant males weigh 2 tons. The largest walruses live in the Pacific Ocean. But the Atlantic "brother" is less than 10-20 percent. The average life span of a walrus is about 40 years.
Some walruses have tusks up to one meter long. Moreover, tusks perform a variety of functions: they help to protect themselves from enemies, cling to ice when the animal gets out of the water, and also dig up mollusks from the seabed. No wonder, in Latin the walrus is called Odobenus rosmarus, which means "sea horse, walking with the help of teeth."
Walruses have very thick skin, up to 10 centimeters, and underneath a 15-centimeter layer of fat. Such a powerful "shell" allows animals to stay in ice water for a long time. In addition, the walrus can freely stay under water for up to 10 minutes without inhaling a new portion of air.
The number of Pacific walruses is about 200, 000 individuals. The Atlantic subspecies is much less common and numbers about 20, 000 animals. The Laptev walrus is even smaller in number (5-10 thousand), which can be found only off the coast of the Laptev Sea. In Russia, it is listed in the Red Book.
The igunaki dish is very popular among the Eskimos. It is prepared in a peculiar way - the walrus carcass is buried in the ground or swamp for fermentation. After a while, this "delicacy" is dug up and eaten. For a person who has been using igunaki since childhood, this food is safe. But for an unprepared gourmet, such a meal can end in death.
In natural nature, walruses have only two enemies - the killer whale and the polar bear. But, the main enemy, of course, is man. Currently, only the indigenous peoples of the Arctic are allowed to hunt walruses.
Shellfish form the basis of the walrus diet. The animal dives to the bottom, plows the ground with tusks, as a result of which the shells float up. The walrus grinds them with powerful flippers and eats the meat. An adult male eats up to 50 kilograms of shellfish per day.
The female begins to bear offspring at the age of 7-8 years. Pregnancy lasts about 15 months. Therefore, walrus babies do not appear often. Usually once every three years. For the first 2 years, the young walrus is next to the mother. This is due to the fact that only at this age does he develop tusks. And until he reaches the age of two, he feeds on breast milk. Walruses are caring mothers. Even if the cub remains an orphan, one of the childless females takes care of it.
A walrus kept in captivity often loses its tusks. Following a natural instinct, he tries to loosen the bottom of the pool. Naturally, he does not succeed, but the tusks break.
The walrus, after a long stay in ice water, changes color - it becomes lighter. This is because the blood vessels constrict from the cold. Therefore, old walruses have almost pink skin, while young ones have a chocolate tint.