Walrus Physical Characteristics
There are physical characteristics of the walrus that allow it to stand apart from other aquatic animals. They are very bulky animals with layers and layers of fat that help them stay warm. This is very important since their natural habitat is in the very cold regions around the Arctic.
They feature small faces that have large whiskers and large tusks on them. They also don’t have external ears. Both sexes feature them but the males tend to have longer and thicker tusks than the females.
The tusks have plenty of uses for the walrus so it is important that they have them. The males use them to fight when it comes time to mate. They also use them to dominate groups of walrus. They are powerful enough to help a large walrus put itself out of the water. They will place their tusks into the ice and then pull themselves onto it. They can chisel out pieces of ice when they need to with these tusks as well. The tusks are considered to be teeth. They also have about 18 of them in their mouths.
They can grow to be extremely large animals. Some males weigh close to 4,400 pounds. Females often weigh up to 3,000 pounds. It is really hard to get an accurate weight on these animals due to the volume of them. Very large scales have to be used and they are often very expensive. However, the physical size of a walrus can help experts to estimate how much they weigh. When food sources are low it is easy to see a drop in the overall size of them.
You will notice that the walrus has a very thick neck. It is this feature that helps to distinguish it from various types of seals that it is believed to be closely related to. They have rear flippers that help to move through the water with ease. In fact, the entire anatomy of the walrus appears to be well designed for movements in the water. Yet it isn’t that way for them to move on land. This is why they spend most of their time in the water.
The overall coloring of one changes as it gets older. At birth they are a dark brown and then they will get lighter over the course of time. They can also appear to be different colors due to the conditions. For example when a walrus spends a great deal of time in the water they can become very pale so they appear to be whitish. When they are on the ice but getting sunlight they can appear to be pinkish.
The body of a walrus is round in shape, and that makes movement easier for such a heavy animal. They rely upon their flippers for a variety of needs. The skin on them is very thick which allows them to easily adapt to both land and the water. The flippers are short and they have square shape to them. In the water these flippers are close to the body to help them navigate. On land, they are able to be angled out so that the walrus can walk around.
The back flippers are triangle shaped. There are five digits on them made from bone. When they are in the water they will push with one back flipper and then the other to move through the water. They are able to push them outward on land so that they can walk on the front and the back flippers. The back flippers are also bumpy which allows them to easily grip the ice as they move along it.