Fun Pacific Walrus Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Nov 07, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Shray Sharma
Read these Pacific walrus facts about the Pacific walrus endangered species

The Pacific walrus (scientific name odobenus rosmarus) is one of the two subspecies of walrus found in the world. The other subspecies is known as the Atlantic walrus.

They are found around the Arctic circle, on the ice floes, and remote rocky coastlines around the northern oceans. The walrus is the only living species of the family Obodenidae.

Atlantic walruses and Pacific walruses are known for their whiskers and tusks, which is the most distinguishing feature of these animals. They are huge creatures that weigh almost 2000 kg. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) live on the continental shelves and in the shallow water surrounding it.

They are social animals and are considered the keystone species in the Arctic marine region. Pacific and Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are hunted for their fat, skin, meat, bone, and tusk by indigenous people of the Arctic.

Pacific walrus hunting was carried out by humans for their thick layer of blubber, walrus ivory, and meat. The Pacific walrus skeleton and remaining parts were discarded by these hunters after taking out the useful parts.

Pacific walrus (odobenus rosmarus divergens) population declined rapidly in the 20th century but has somewhat stabilized in recent years. Though, the Pacific walrus classification is still listed as endangered by the IUCN.

Pacific walrus body shape is similar to the body shapes of sea lions and seals. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service keeps a close watch on the status of this marine mammal.

The Atlantic and Pacific walrus have long tusks, which are elongated canines, and found in both males and females. You may also check out fin whale facts and Bowhead whale facts if you want to know more about aquatic creatures.

Pacific Walrus Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pacific walrus?

The Pacific walrus is an animal found on the rocky coastline and the shallow waters of the arctic circle. Pacific walruses are marine mammals that are huge animals and have unmissable tusks and whiskers.

What class of animal does a Pacific walrus belong to?

The Pacific walrus belongs to the mammals class of animals. It is an amphibian that can survive on iced continental shelves and shallow ocean waters of the Arctic and Atlantic region.

How many Pacific walruses are there in the world?

The Pacific walrus population is estimated at around 129,000 in the world. However, this is only an estimate as the exact count is difficult to arrive at. The Pacific walrus have become an endangered species due to hunting by humans as well as natural predators like killer whales.  

Where does a Pacific walrus live?

Pacific walruses are found in the region of Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea, around the northern coast of eastern Siberia, and Wrangel Island in Beaufort sea, which is along the northern shore of Alaska and Unimak islands during the summer.

During the spring and fall, walruses are found in the Bering Strait up to the Gulf of Anadyr. And during winters, large part of the population of these marine mammals can be seen in the Bering sea.

This is along the eastern coast of Siberia, which comes from the south to the northern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

What is a Pacific walrus's habitat?

The Pacific walrus population can be found on the ice floes and rocky coastlines of the arctic circle. Walrus like to spend most of their time in freezing cold waters.

During the winters, Pacific walruses prefer thin layers of ice than the thick layer which is formed. They can break this thin layer of ice from underneath the water.

During the summers Pacific walruses are found in the remote rocky coastlines of the same region where there is an ice cover. They may also go to southern regions like Central Canada and the United Kingdom.

Who do Pacific walruses live with?

Pacific walruses are social animals who live in large herds. The ice floes can have thousands of individuals, especially females, with their young ones.

Male Pacific walruses can also be found in this setup. Pacific walruses almost live in a family set up with another family joined in the herd. These animals can be found around the Bering Sea, as far south as the Bristol Bay area.

How long does a Pacific walrus live?

Pacific walruses are known to have a longer life span. Pacific walruses can live for a life span of up to 40-50 years.

They can survive in the harsh winters of the Arctic due to their thick skin, the layer of blubber below and good supply of food. The destruction of this natural habitat and hunting is one of the major reasons for the depletion of the walrus population size.

How do they reproduce?

Pacific walruses mate during the breeding season only after they have attained sexual maturity. Males compete with each other using their tusks to gain mating rights.

The longer the tusks, the more dominant the male is. Female walruses  start ovulating from 4-6 years of age. The mating season starts from January and continues till March.

The gestation period is for 15-16 months, after which the female walruses give birth to a single baby Pacific walrus on the ice. At birth, walrus calves are around 1.2 m long and weigh around 190 lb. Walrus calves have short-soft hair covering their body with pale grey flippers and a thick white mustache with no teeth.

For the first six months after giving birth, female walruses feed their milk to their babies, after which they began eating solid food. Their mothers are very protective of their little ones.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status for Pacific walruses is endangered. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Pacific walruses were hunted in large numbers for their meat, fat, bone, and tusk.

The indigenous people of Chukchi, Yupik, and Inuit are allowed to hunt small numbers in summers. During the olden days, the constant hunting had brought Pacific walruses to becoming an endangered species.

Traditionally, all parts of Pacific walruses are used.

The meat is preserved for winter nutrition, the tusk and bones are used for tools and handicrafts, the flippers are fermented and stored as a delicacy until spring, the fat is used as an oil for warmth and light, the tough hide is used for house and boat covering, and the intestine and gut lining is used for making waterproof parkas.

With the advancement in technology, some parts are not required, but walrus meat is an important part of local diet.

Pacific Walrus Fun Facts

What do Pacific walruses look like?

Pacific walruses may look like that aged grandfather who has a large mustache on his face covering the lower part of the mouth completely. Their whiskers and tusks are the most prominent part of their facial features.

Tusks are found on both the males and females; and can extend up to 3 ft in length. They are large animals who are found relaxing on the ice grounds near the shallow ocean water.

A Pacific walrus has beautiful tusks.

How cute are they?

Walruses are cute creatures because of their social nature, too. Walruses are friendly and amiable to humans. They are rather cuddly animals who can be found lazing around on ice floes.

How do they communicate?

Pacific walruses communicate by making loud bellows during mating season, which are made using two air pouches in their necks. Male Pacific walruses are known to make sounds like taps, knicks, pulses, and bell-like sounds underwater.

How big is a Pacific walrus?

The Pacific walrus is a large pinniped like the other pinniped seals, sea lions, and fur seals. The adult male Pacific walruses are almost 12 ft in length and can weigh up to two tons.

How fast can a Pacific walrus swim?

The Pacific walrus are known to be graceful swimmers. They are known to dive up to 90 m and can stay underwater for 30 minutes. They swim with an average speed of 5 mph and the fastest at around 20 mph .

How much does a Pacific walrus weigh?

The Pacific walrus can weigh between 1800-3700 lb. The females weigh two thirds of the male weight.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male Pacific walruses are called bulls, and female walruses are called cows.

What would you call a baby Pacific walrus?

The baby Pacific walrus is called a calf.

What do they eat?

The Pacific walrus stay on the thin ice-covered continent shelf to forge food like sea cucumbers. They are also known to dive up to 500 m in search of food.

They feed on 60 genera of marine organisms for their food requirements.

Their favorite prey includes crab, shrimps, soft corals, tube worms, various mollusks, sea otter, sea turtle, sea cucumbers, and even parts of other pinnipeds. They prefer benthic bivalve mollusks like clams, for which it is known to graze on the sea floor by looking for it with its sensitive vibrissae.

Are they aggressive?

Pacific walruses are known to be aggressive creatures and use their tusks to jab opponents. Both the sexes are equally aggressive and especially mothers are known to be aggressive while protecting their young ones.

Would they make a good pet?

It would be difficult to provide their natural habitat of an iced floor. However, many zoos have been successful in keeping Pacific walruses in captivity.

They would make an ideal pet due to its social nature. Like humans, they are known to be family-oriented, and especially female Pacific walruses share a strong bond with their young in the initial years.

Did you know...

The greatest threat to Pacific walruses is climate change which is causing the loss of their natural habitat on an ice-covered continent shelf.

They are highly susceptible to noises and disturbances.

What do Pacific walruses use their tusks for?

Pacific walruses use their tusk to cut through the ice in order to get out of the water. They also use it for defense and to demonstrate dominance. The tusks are used to form and maintain holes in the ice which help them climb out of water. The tusks help them dig out prey from the seafloor.

What temperatures can Pacific walruses withstand?

Pacific walruses can withstand temperatures as low as -35 centigrade (-31 Fahrenheit) due to the thick layer of blubber which keeps them warm, and fat also provides them with energy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Walrus, or harp seal.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Pacific Walrus coloring pages.

Pacific walrus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Shellfish, worms, snails

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

1 pup per litter

How Much Did They Weigh?

880-3740 lb

What habitat Do they Live In?

northern seas off russia and alaska

Where Do They Live?

arctic circle coastline, north pole, northern atlantic ocean

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

7.5-11.5 ft







Scientific Name

Odobenus rosmarus

What Do They Look Like?

Large animals with tusks and whiskers

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

humans, polar bears, killers whales

What is their Conservation Status?

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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Fact-checked by Shray Sharma

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

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Shray SharmaBachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

As an aspiring web and app developer, Shray has a passion for working with promising startups. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Maharaja Surajmal Institute Of Technology while gaining experience in digital marketing. Shray has already earned a Google Analytics Certification and is well-equipped to handle analytics and data management tasks. He has also served as a marketing manager at Parallax Virtual Arts, where he oversaw the company's social media, content, and SEO strategies. Shray's goal is to create engaging content that resonates with audiences and offers valuable insights.

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