One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large gregarious marine mammal related to the eared seals, having two large downward-pointing tusks and found in the Arctic Ocean.
Odobenus rosmarus, the only member of the family Odobenidae
- ‘After an early buffet breakfast on Saturday morning, the family will spend the day at SeaWorld, home to killer whales, walruses, sea lions, beluga whales, sharks and Magellanic penguins.’
- ‘In fact, only a handful of the 5,000 or so mammals - mostly semi-aquatic species such as whales, walruses, and hippopotamuses - are not covered in dense fur.’
- ‘These minute creatures are eaten by larger fish, and those by still larger fish, which in turn become lunch for polar bears, seals, walruses, and whales.’
- ‘Polar bears are seagoing hunters that roam vast areas of the Arctic, pursuing a movable feast of seals, narwhals, beluga whales, and walruses.’
- ‘Here in one of the world's richest marine environments - the waters between Alaska and Russia - polar bears, walruses, whales, seals, and countless birds thrive.’
- ‘Come face to face with polar bears, walruses, harbour seals and beluga whales.’
- ‘We were relieved not to have had to use our borrowed anti-polar bear rifle, but disappointed not to see any bears, walruses, narwhal or beluga.’
- ‘When Qallunaat introduced guns to Inuit, we only used them for the purpose of hunting wild game such as caribou, polar bears, seals, walruses, beluga and narwhal and everything that is edible.’
- ‘Marine mammals include narwhals, beluga whales, walrus, and ringed and bearded seals.’
- ‘Cooper's team believes warmer water flowing north from the Bering Sea is largely responsible for melting the Arctic ice on which the walruses live.’
- ‘Cameraman Norris Brock and I were shooting several stories in nearby Kodiak, Alaska and, since the timing was right and the male walruses were doing their thing, we took a sidetrip.’
- ‘There are also caribou, wolves, walruses, polar bears and beluga whales.’
- ‘Aquatic mammals that live in the waters off the coast include walrus, ringed seals, bearded seals, beluga, narwhal, and various other whales.’
- ‘The team will also test walruses, sea otters, and clams in Alaska's Aleutian Islands for traces of PCBs, pesticides, and petroleum.’
- ‘The theme, obviously, is marine animals, and the inclusions range from humpback whales to tuna fish, from great white sharks to bottlenose dolphins, and from mermaids to walruses.’
- ‘Occasionally they even pluck a walrus, beluga whale, or narwhal from the watery depths below the pack ice.’
- ‘Killer whales - known as the wolves of the sea - are top Arctic predators, eating prey that includes fatty animals like walruses, seals, sea lions, and even other whales.’
- ‘Brian has concentrated on the ecological diversity of the region, with its rare flowers, walruses, Bowhead whales, bearded seals, Polar bears and sea birds.’
- ‘The waters are also home to minke whales, several seal species, and walruses, among a multitude of other creatures.’
- ‘While you can get pretty close to walruses here, within 30 feet in some cases, you're not allowed to be on the beaches, so conversations are kept to a minimum and there's a rush to get up.’
Early 18th century: probably from Dutch walrus, perhaps by an inversion of elements (influenced by walvis ‘whale fish’) of Old Norse hrosshvalr ‘horse whale’.
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