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White Walrus Complete Guide in 2024

The majestic white walrus, which is emblematic of the Arctic seas, represents adaptability and resiliency in one of the most hostile settings on earth. With its enormous size, characteristic tusks, and thick blubbery skin, the white walrus is the top predator in the icy waters of the north. These marine mammals are remarkably agile in navigating icy environments since they are adapted for both land and sea life. They use their tusks for communication, defense, and foraging. Respected for their part in Arctic ecosystems by both indigenous cultures and scientists, white walruses continue to be a mysterious and magnificent creature of the cold.

White Walrus Behavior

white walrus
Source: istock.com

Beautiful animals that live in the Arctic region, such as the white walrus, have interesting characteristics adapted to their cold environment. These animals are very attractive and often establish large colonies on sea ice or in transport areas along the coast. They participate in various social activities, such as vocalizations and physical displays, within the group. Apart from its swimming prowess, the white walrus is also famous for its ability to rise above the water with the help of its large beak. Basically, they are benthic feeders, seeking out wetlands to feed on mollusks, shellfish, and other marine invertebrates. Understanding their behavior is important for improving conservation efforts and realizing their importance in the Arctic environment.

White Walrus Personality

white walrus
Source: istock.com

The white walrus’ unique appearance and behavior reveal the amazing nature shaped by the Arctic environment. These aquatic animals are active and curious, often engaging in humorous activities with each other and their group. When they meet their peers, they can show empathy and even humor, even though they feel afraid. Although each white walrus has a unique personality, they all tend to be intelligent and adaptable, which helps them survive in the harsh environment of the Arctic. By studying their behavior, one can gain a deeper understanding of the depth and complexity of the characteristics of these Arctic animals.

White Walrus Size

Male Pacific walruses measure between 2.7 and 3.6 meters (9 to 12 feet) in length and weigh between 800 and 1,700 kilograms (1,764–3,748 lb). The weight and length of female Pacific walruses range from 400 to 1,250 kg (882-2,756 lb) and 2.3 to 3.1 m (7.5-10 ft). Male Atlantic walruses weigh about 908 kg (2,000 lb) and can grow to a length of 2.4 m (8 ft). They are slightly smaller than females. The only pinniped that can outgrow a walrus at full size is the northern and southern elephant seal.

White Walrus Coloration

Overall, walruses are often cinnamon-brown in color. When submerged in extremely cold water for an extended period of time, walruses can take on an almost white appearance. Warm weather causes the skin’s microscopic blood vessels to dilate and circulation to rise, giving them a pink hue. The extra body heat is expelled by the enhanced skin circulation.
Babies are ash gray to brown at birth. Calves turn tawny-brown in a week or two. With aging, the coloring becomes paler. Younger people tend to be the darkest.

White Walrus Flippers

Flippers are adapted from limbs. Flippers have no hair. A walrus’s flippers have thick, rough skin on the soles that helps with traction on both land and ice. The foreflippers, also known as pectoral flippers, are shortened and modified versions of land mammals’ forelimbs, although they still include all of the key skeletal components. The foreflippers of a walrus are square and brief. Every foreflipper has five roughly equal-length digits. Every finger bears a tiny, barely noticeable claw.
A walrus uses its foreflippers to steer or to hold them against its body while swimming.
A walrus walks on land by positioning its foreflippers at an angle at right angles to its body.
The hind flippers of walruses are formed like a triangle. Five bony digits make up the hind flippers. The two outside digits’ claws are smaller than those of the three center digits.
To move through the water, walruses utilize their hind flippers in alternating motions.
Walruses are able to walk on all fours because, like sea lions, they can twist their hind flippers under their pelvic girdle.

White Walrus Diet

One of the most hardy animals in the Arctic marine environment, the white walrus feeds primarily on benthic carnivores in the cold waters of the North. With the help of its sturdy beak and sensitive claws, this beast brings many species of benthic invertebrates back to the ground, such as clams, mussels, oysters and worms. Sometimes they include fish and sometimes they even include carrion in their diet. Their resilience and importance in maintaining balance in the Arctic food web is demonstrated by their ability to change their diet in response to prey availability.

White Walrus Head

The head of a walrus is large and square, with noticeable whiskers and tusks.
On its snout, walruses have 400–700 vibrissae, or whiskers, arranged in 13–15 rows. Vibrissae receive their blood and nerve supply from the muscles to which they are linked.
All walruses have eighteen teeth. The upper jaw’s two canine teeth have evolved into lengthy ivory tusks.
There are tusks on both sexes. Male tusks are typically longer, straighter, and stouter than female tusks.
During a calf’s first summer or fall, tusks pop.
Male tusks can reach lengths of 100 cm (39 in.) and female tusks of 80 cm (31.5 in.). Male tusks may continue to grow for up to 15 years after they reach adulthood.
Establishing social dominance and dragging out onto ice or rocky coasts are the two main purposes of the tusks.
The little eyes are situated high on the head, closer to the sides.
The ears are small, discrete apertures that are situated just below the eyes. They do not have external ear flaps.
On the nose, paired nostrils are situated above the vibrissae. When we are at rest, our nostrils are closed.


Although walruses have a tail, it is typically covered by a skin sheath.

White Walrus Skin and Hair

The skin of a walrus is robust and thick. Its thickness could range from 2 to 4 cm, or 0.79 to 1.6 in. Adult male walruses have the thickest layer on their necks and shoulders, which it shields them from tusk jabs.
Males frequently have huge nodules on their skin; females do not have these. Some experts believe the nodules to be a secondary sex feature because they develop during puberty.
Over the majority of the body, hair is between 7 and 12 mm (0.3 and 0.5 in) long. On the face, it is the shortest, and on the flippers, it is missing.
Juveniles have the densest hair, which gets thinner as they get older.
Most men undergo a yearly molt (hair loss) between June and August. Females take a longer time to molt. In walruses, the process of molting is gradual; individual hairs shed and grow back.
Two to three months prior to birth, calves shed their delicate prenatal coat, known as lanugo. After a month or two, they molt once more.


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