Lesson Plan - Get It!
What do you notice about the animals in the picture above? How would you describe them, and what would you call them?
A walrus is a large mammal with long tusks and thick blubber to keep it warm.
Can you see the tusks below the walrus’s mustache below? All walruses are mammals. All mammals have fur, live babies, and are warm-blooded. A walrus’s temperature stays the same just like people’s temperatures do. They have thick blubber, or layers of fat, that allows them to stay warm in the frigid areas they live in. Most walruses can be found living way up north around the Arctic Ocean.
Walruses love to swim! Even though the water is freezing cold, the walruses have blubber to keep them warm. They are also able to slow down their heart rate while they swim to stay warm and stay under water for up to ten minutes. Walruses hunt for food in the water. They are carnivores, which means they only eat meat. While a walrus is swimming in the ocean, it uses its whiskers to find shellfish like clams. They can use their mustache whiskers to find and eat over six thousand clams at one time! They also enjoy eating sea cucumbers, crabs, fish, and occasionally, seals.
Walruses hang out in big groups called herds. They are very social animals. Hundreds of them gather on the beach and fill the air with snorting, grunting, and bellowing sounds. Below, you can see hundreds of walruses relaxing on Round Island in Alaska. During mating season, male walruses become very aggressive. They will fight other male walruses for a mate.
Female walruses carry their babies for fifteen to sixteen months before they are born. Mother walruses give birth to one baby in the spring. The calf (baby walrus) will be able to swim right after it is born. The mother will stay with her baby calf until the baby is three years old. Any male walruses will leave the female herd to join a male herd of walruses.
You learned some interesting facts about walruses. Share at least three facts you learned with your parent or teacher, then move on to the Got It? section to learn about how walruses use different parts of their bodies.