Walrus in the mist – Wrangel 2018

These animals were very relaxed.

The Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is the largest of all the Arctic pinnipeds and the the only larger pinnipeds are the Elephant Seals. Here in the Bering sea, the Pacific subspecies O.r.divergens have longer tusks, up to 100cm (in males), than their Atlantic counterparts. Tusks have various uses including making holes in the ice, aid hauling out and as weapons. Walrus exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism with males being 50% heavier and about 20% longer than females. Walrus skin can be up to 4cm thick on the neck and the many nodules around the neck probably serve as armour. Above the tusks Walrus have sensitive and stiff vibrissae which are used to feel for prey. Walrus are particularly fond of molluscs extracting the meat by suction.