While polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a land-based marine mammal the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a flippered aquatic mammal. The walrus is recognized by its prominent tusks like elephants’. White bears are the predators of walruses. However walrus is a big animal and only adult bears can afford to take down such a large prey. Sometimes polar bears also get killed by the walrus.
polar bear vs walrus
Adult walruses typically measure 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) in weight whereas male polar bears can weigh as much as 350 – 700 kilograms. The weight of the heaviest polar bear is reported at 1,000 kg. Clearly there is a significant difference in sizes of both marine animals. The biggest walrus is twice the size of the biggest polar bear. Despite the size difference polar bear preys on walrus and not the other way round.
Where Do Polar Bears and Walruses Live?
Polar bears and the walrus live in the Northern Hemisphere. They both have occupied much of the arctic including Atlantic Ocean.
Polar Bear vs Walrus Hunting
While polar bears have long been the victim by the indigenous people walrus isn’t safe either. Indigenous people kill walrus not only for its unique tusks but also for skin, meat, bone, and fat. In the 19th and 20th century people used walrus ivory and blubber to serve numerous purposes.
Polar Bear vs Walrus Diet
Unlike polar bears walruses have quite diverse diet. Walrus is thought to consume 60 genera of aquatic animals. Walrus eats shrimps, crabs, sea cucumbers, mollusks and many others. Both polar bears and walruses prey on ringed seals.
Polar Bear vs Walrus Life history
Walrus and polar bear seem to have a similar lifespan. Polar bears live around 15 – 25 years and walrus’ lifespan ranges from 20 – 30 years.
Walrus attains the sexual maturity at 15 years age whereas polar bears become mature as early as in 4 – 5 years.
Female polar bears and female walruses are called sow.
Polar bear cub weighs only one kilogram at birth as against the walrus cub that weighs as much as 45 to 75 kg.
While polar bears live alone, walrus breeds in colonies of tens of thousands of individuals.
The overall global population of walrus is estimated at 200,000. Polar bears have a total population of about 25,000.
Polar bears have no natural predator in the arctic. Walrus has two potential predators; one is polar bear and the other is a killer whale.