Difference between walrus and seal

Few people know that there are 35 species of pinnipeds in the world. Moreover, only a third of them are found on the territory of Russia. Seals are divided into two large families, each of which, in turn, is divided into different types. Walruses, on the other hand, stand alone and have only one species. In addition to walking on flippers and living in harsh climatic conditions, the mammals in question have quite a few similarities. But there are many differences between them. You can verify this only by looking at the animals from the side. In this article, we will look at how a walrus differs from a seal.



The walrus is a marine mammal, the only representative of its family belonging to the pinniped group. It occupies an intermediate link between eared and real seals. It has a massive body, the size of which is second only to the dimensions of an elephant seal. But since these animals do not intersect in the natural environment, the walrus is an absolute giant among pinnipeds in its habitat. Its body length can be up to 4 meters, and its weight can be up to 2 tons. The main distinguishing feature of the animal is considered to be huge canines, which perform an auxiliary function. Without them, a large and heavy walrus would simply not be able to climb the ice floe, as well as get out to the surface of the water while tightening the hole. It is not for nothing that the name of this animal is translated as "walking with teeth." In addition, the walrus uses tusks to dig out food from the seabed. Surprisingly, mammals can sleep not only on land - their bodies contain about 200 kg of fat and are unsinkable.


Seal is a marine mammal belonging to the pinniped group. Animals are divided into two families. Eared seals are so named due to the presence of external auditory openings. Presumably they descended from primitive bears. The second family is called "real" seals. It is believed that their ancestors were primitive martens. Distant relatives of mammals, on the one hand, are terrestrial predators, and on the other, cetaceans, leading a completely aquatic lifestyle. The weight of the seals varies with the season and the amount of accumulated fat. In winter, it can increase many times and exceed 300 kg. The average body length of an animal is 2-2.5 m.


To begin with, let's draw conclusions based on the facts already stated. As is clear from the above descriptions, the walrus is huge in size. In terms of body length, the seal is almost twice as short, and even several times in weight. In addition, the walrus has large tusks. Their average length is about 1 m, and their weight reaches 5.5 kg. Often, males use their canines to fight. In general, they are simply necessary for animals to survive in harsh conditions.

In addition, walruses do not have ears, while some species of seals do. Also, on the face of the first animal, you can find a tough wide whisker, comparable in thickness to a wire. They are called "vibrissae" and act as a tactile organ that allows the mammal to navigate in space. This is another difference between a walrus and a seal, whose whiskers are much thinner and less sensitive. And his skin is much smoother and softer to the touch. In walruses, the cover is very thick and wrinkled, prone to the formation of outgrowths. On the body of animals, you can distinguish small sparse hairs that disappear over the years. In seals, short, soft and thick fur is clearly visible.

Particular attention should be paid to the mode of movement of animals. In walruses and some species of seals, the front legs are quite wide, and the hind legs can bend at the heel joint. Thanks to this, mammals are able to move on land with “steps”. At the same time, the hind limbs of real seals are not able to bend forward, and therefore on land they crawl on the abdomen, like caterpillars.

As for the lifestyle of mammals, walruses always gather in groups of 10-20 individuals, and sometimes even form rookeries of many thousands. The herd is kept crowded and does not scatter along the coastline. Walruses are very peaceful towards each other, which cannot be said about seals, among which there are clashes during the mating season, and a hierarchy is established in relations. Their herd instinct is less pronounced. Often, animals feed and rest separately from each other. But in case of danger, they closely monitor the behavior of the "neighbors". A cheerful hubbub is always heard from the seal rookeries, because these animals are very sociable. But walruses prefer to keep quiet. Of course, they know how to roar, and they do it loudly enough, but they resort to such voice techniques only as a last resort.

To summarize, what is the difference between a walrus and a seal.


Walrus Seal
Body length can reach 4 meters, and weight - up to 2 tonsBody length is 2-2.5 m, weight - about 300 kg
Massive canines presentNo tusks
No pinnaeSome species have external auditory openings
On the face there are thick, stiff vibrissae that perform a tactile functionThin, less sensitive whiskers
Thick wrinkled cover, prone to build-upMore delicate and thin skin
The body has sparse hairs that disappear over the yearsThe body is covered with thick, short and soft fur
Move on land "steps"Some species crawl on the abdomen
Always gather in groupsHerd instinct m is less pronounced
Peaceful towards each otherThere are frequent clashes, there is a hierarchy
They vote as a last resortVery sociable