The walrus is a large, flippered marine mammal which has a thick layer of fat, called blubber, under its skin to keep it warm. Males can grow to an enormous size, with some growing to a weight of over 2000 kilograms. The walrus' fatty skin accounts for up to 20% of its total body weight.
The walrus has a muscular body which it uses to manoeuvre through the water. Its four flippers help with steering and it is also able to turn its rear flippers forwards in order to help it move on land.
The snout of the walrus is covered in sensitive bristly whiskers called mystacial vibrissae. A walrus can have up to 700 of these whiskers, each reaching 30cm in length. They are attached to muscles and are used for foraging for food. Nerves in the whiskers mean that the walrus can use them to recognise shapes to help it find shellfish to eat.
A walrus's tusks are modified canine teeth which grow throughout the walrus' life. Tusks can be up to 60cm long in females, and up to 1m long in males! One of longest walrus tusk ever recorded was 94cm long, 27cm in diameter and weighed over 5kg. The tusks are also status symbols, and the larger the tusks, the more important the owner of them will be in a herd.
Read More: Food and Hunting