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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Did You Know? 17 Incredible Laptev Walrus Facts

Interesting Laptev walrus facts for kids.

An uncertain subspecies of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), the Laptev walrus (Odobenus rosmarus laptevi), is primarily found in the Laptev Sea. Some experts believe that the mammal does not exist, while others consider the Laptev walrus the smallest subspecies. The existence of the species is quite a debatable topic as very little information is available as of now.

The only living species in the family Odobenidae and the Odobenus genus, the walrus consists of two subspecies, Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) and Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The subspecies are found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, respectively.

Walruses are best known for their tusks or enlarged canine teeth that can easily break through 8 in (20 cm) of ice. They also possess whiskers that provide additional sensory information. The skin of walruses is either light gray or yellowish-brown in color. The average weight of the species is around 1323-3307 lb (600-1500 kg), while they are 6.6–11.5 ft (2-3.5 m) long. The Pacific walruses are bigger than the Atlantic walruses.

These walruses are carnivores and prey on birds, mammals, aquatic crustaceans, marine invertebrates. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species of walrus in the Vulnerable category while the status of Laptev walrus is listed as Data Deficient. The population of walruses is highly affected by hunting and predation.

Let's read more interesting facts about the Laptev walrus and if you found this article insightful, don't forget to check out exciting information about different animals like Weddell seal and Czechoslovakian wolfdog.

Laptev Walrus Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Laptev walrus?

The Laptev walrus (Odobenus rosmarus laptevi) is a flippered marine mammal that is found primarily on the marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, the Laptev Sea. Experts believe that Laptev walrus is a subspecies of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) along with the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

What class of animal does a Laptev walrus belong to?

Laptev walruses belong to the class of Mammalia, the family of Odobenidae, and the Odobenus genus. In the Arctic marine region, walrus is considered to be the keystone species.

How many Laptev walrus is there in the world?

The walrus population has been declining rapidly over the years and the Laptev walrus population would be around only 5000-10000 as of now. Commercial harvesting is highly affecting the population, there are more than 200,000 Pacific walruses and 20,000 Atlantic walruses at the moment. Studies suggest that the worldwide walrus population would be around 250,000.

Where does a Laptev walrus live?

The subspecies of walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are distributed in the Arctic Oceans and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The Laptev walruses are found in the Laptev Sea, while the Pacific walruses inhabit the Bering Sea and in the warmer months, they travel to the Beaufort Sea and the East Siberian Sea. The Atlantic walruses dwell in the eastern and western Atlantic Oceans.

What is a Laptev walrus's habitat?

While talking about the Laptev walrus habitat, these animals generally dwell in the areas of the Arctic Ocean, they prefer shallow waters where food is easily accessible. Most of their time is spent either in or around water. Male walruses are generally found on sand or boulder beaches, while female walruses spend their time on ice. These animals usually migrate south during the winter and north in the summer season. Migration is dependent on the presence of ice.

Who does the Laptev walrus live with?

Laptev walruses live in herds as they are social, these walruses generally spend most of their time with other walruses of same-sex. Female walruses dwell on the ice by forming a herd while males stay in another herd, they only come together during the breeding season. In winters, males, and females pile on top of each other. The size of the herd could range from hundreds to thousands.

How long does a Laptev walrus live?

The exact lifespan of Laptev walruses is not known but walruses generally live for around 30-40 years in the wild. Unlike several marine mammals, the infant mortality rate of the calves is very low as females are quite protective. Also, these animals are prone to tusk infection that could reduce the usual lifespan, hunting, and poaching also lowers the lifespan of these beautiful animals.

How do they reproduce?

These animals follow the polygynous mating system that means males mate with multiple females in each mating season, they generally mate between January and April. Walruses turn sexually mature when at the age of five to seven but mate after 15 years of age.

The adult male has several mating calls and noises that are used to attract the female Laptev walrus and warn other male walruses. The strongest and largest male gets to mate with the female and mating takes place either on water or land.

The gestation period generally lasts for around is 15 months and females generally give birth to a single calf or offspring. The average weight of the calf is around 132 lb (60 kg). The female Laptev walruses are best known for their care towards their offspring. The calves usually live with the female herds for a few years as it helps to prevent predation. At the age of two, they learn the skills of scavenging and at three, they are completely weaned. Males are not involved in any kind of parental care.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species of walrus in the Vulnerable category while the status of Laptev walrus is listed as Data Deficient. Walruses found in Svalbard and the Russian Atlantic are protected under the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission. Also, the species is listed in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The Laptev population would only be around 20,000 as of now. Humans often hunt walruses for their skins, bones, and tusks. Global warming has also emerged as a major threat for walruses over the years.

Laptev Walrus Fun Facts

What do Laptev walrus look like?

Laptev walruses look quite similar to the Pacific walruses. These marine mammals are either found in light gray or yellowish-brown colors and are best known for their long tusks. Walrus tusks are used to prevent predation and climbing out of the water onto the ice, female walruses are quite protective towards their calves and one can observe that in the picture.

These rare Laptev walrus facts would make you love them.
*Please note that this is an image of a Pacific walrus, not a Laptev walrus. If you have an image of a Laptev walrus, please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

Walruses are one of the lovable aquatic animals, they are even considered quite friendly to humans. One would love to see calves playing and cuddling with their mothers.

How do they communicate?

These animals follow the same methods of communication as Pacific and Atlantic walruses. They have very small eyes and are generally not able to find food on the ocean floor properly. But walruses possess whiskers, also known as vibrissae, that provide additional sensory information and help in finding food and other objects near them. They are very vocal and use several calls and noises as a courtship display or to show dominance, females use these calls to interact with their calves. Walruses use a system of tissue conduction in water to hear others. Studies reveal that the Atlantic and Pacific walruses have distinct calls that help to identify the subspecies. They are highly cognitive, hence, are smart creatures of all pinnipeds.

How big is a Laptev walrus?

The average body size and weight of Laptev walrus are around 6.6–11.5 ft (2-3.5 m) and 1323-3307 lb (600-1500 kg), respectively. The Pacific walruses are bigger than the Atlantic walruses. Laptev walruses are thrice the weight of female southern elephant seals and leopard seals.

How fast can a Laptev walrus move?

They can run on all fours. However, the exact speed of Laptev walruses is not known but these animals are known for moving swiftly under the water. Also, walruses can easily reach the speed of 22 mph (35 kph) while chasing prey.

How much does a Laptev walrus weigh?

The average Laptev walrus weight is around 1323-3307 lb (600-1500 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male Laptev walruses are called bulls, while females are known as cows.

What would you call a baby Laptev walrus?

People often use the calf to refer to the baby Laptev walrus.

What do they eat?

These walruses are carnivores and majorly prey on birds, mammals, aquatic crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps, marine invertebrates, sometimes seals, and narwhals. While polar bears and killer whales are their major predators.

Are they dangerous?

These animals become very aggressive and dangerous when it comes to protecting their calves. They possess long and sharp tusks or enlarged canine teeth that are sufficient enough to kill intruders. Females even chase those who try to harm their babies, it is always advised not to provoke these animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Generally, it is not legal to keep walruses as pets and one can easily find these lovely animals in zoos. It is also very difficult to provide them their natural habitat and controlled temperature, but several zoos have been keeping walruses in captivity.

Did you know...

The average Laptev walrus tusks size is around 3.3 ft (1 m).

Walruses are twice the size of polar bears.

A walrus named Odin is the biggest walrus weighing 3,700 lb (1678 kg). It is currently living at Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg, Germany.

How many walruses are left in the world?

Studies suggest that the worldwide walrus population would be around 250,000. There are around 200,000 Pacific walruses, 20,000 Atlantic walruses, and 5,000-10,000 Laptev walruses as of now. Walruses are listed as Vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

Types of walrus and how are they different?

The walrus consists of two subspecies, Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) and Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The subspecies are found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, respectively, while it is unclear that the Laptev walrus (Odobenus rosmarus laptevi) is a subspecies of walrus. Very little information regarding the Laptev walrus is available as of now but the Pacific walrus is considered the strongest and largest among all.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these fox facts and bowhead whale facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Arizona mammal coloring pages.

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