It costs a lot of clams to feed a walrus -- literally. According to the folks at Sea World, adult walruses love to dine on mollusks, and an adult can gobble up between 3,000 and 6,000 clams in a single meal. Typically, walruses eat twice a day, taking in up to 6 percent of their body weight by nightfall. But variables exist. For instance, a pregnant female walrus will dramatically increase her intake by as much as 40 percent, while males take in much less during breeding season.
Walruses are also migratory mammals, and they spend much more time foraging for food when they head south in the fall than they do when they return north in the spring. As far as the contents of their meals, walruses love bivalves, but they will also chew up worms, sea cucumbers, crustaceans, gastropods, and other small creatures. In desperate times, they will eat fish and even the remains of young seals.
The world of walruses:
- While both male and female walruses have tusks, the males use theirs to determine dominance: Longer is better, and some tusks can reach three feet (.9 m) in length.
- There are about 250,000 walruses in the world, but the Foxe Basin herd in Canada is the largest, with approximately 5,000 members.
- Adults walruses can weigh up to 2,645 pounds (1,200 kg), but even babies are huge, weighing around 187 pounds (85 kg).