Familia Odobenidae

Family Odobenidae - Walrus (1 species in 1 genus)

Walruses are enormous animals that combine features of both otariids (moderately long foreflippers that can lift the body off the ground) and phocids (lack of ear pinnae). The neck is long and the hindflippers can rotate under the body and permit walking, although walruses are so bulky they cannot walk as easily as most otariids. The tail is sheathed in skin and not readily visible or free, as in other pinnipeds. The tusks, which are enlarged canines are a unique feature, and are important in fighting and assisting with hauling out. Walruses have numerous short smooth vibrissae on their thick fleshy mystacial (“moustache”) pads. The testes of walruses are internal, not scrotal, and females have 4 retractable mammary teats. The skin is dark in younger animals and lightens with age. Walruses swim with phocid-like side-to-side strokes of the hindflippers, with assistance from the foreflippers.


Genus Odobenus containing 1 species:
Odobenus rosmarus (Walrus)