The walrus can easily be distinguished from other marine mammals by its small head, whiskers and tusks. It is related to seals and sea lions but belongs to its own family.
The adult animals can grow very large and be up to 40-years-old. The male is typically one and a half times larger than the female and can measure over 3 metres and weigh just under 2 tonnes.
The walrus has a very thick skin (2-3 cm) and layer of blubber (10-15 cm) that keeps it warm. In contrast, it has almost no fur, and both genders have tusks, but the males’ can be 50 cm long.
A few walruses are seen along the coast of Northeast Greenland, in Nordvandet off Qaanaaq, and on banks off central West Greenland in winter. It is estimated that there are about 5,000 adult animals in Greenland, most of which migrate to Canada in the summer. The regulation of hunting has turned a sharp decline in the population in recent years to a slight increase.
The walrus mainly lives on mussels and other bottom-living small animals such as snails, sea urchins, ragworms, lugworms and sea cucumbers. Occasionally it catches a fish or takes a seal with its tusks.