Morse, Or Sea Horse Trichechus Rosmarus, Linn (Walrus)), a marine arctic mammal, resembling the large seals in external appearance, but having dental affinities with the ungulates. The skull is not very large, though heavy, and its processes for muscular insertion are very well marked; the facial portion is more elongated than in the seals, and the anterior part of the upper jaw greatly developed for the canine teeth, between which the lower jaw shuts. In the young animal there are six incisors in each jaw, all falling out during growth except two in the upper; the upper canines hang down as pointed tusks between the small canines of the lower jaw, and project a considerable distance below the chin; their points are sometimes bent toward each other, but are usually turned outward; the molars are originally 5/4-5/4, but fall out as age advances; they are conical, with simple blunt crowns, worn obliquely at the apex. The head is well proportioned to the body, rounded and obtuse; eyes small and bright; no external ears, and auditory openings far back; nostrils large, on the upper part of the snout, and capable of being accurately closed; muzzle very wide and tumid, and the lips remarkably thick and covered with large translucent bristles looking like quills of straw; the front view of the young animal, before the tusks have grown, has a very human aspect.

The neck is short and the body bulky, broadest at the chest, and diminishing to the very short tail; the limbs are short and less fin-like than in the seals, the inside of the paws protected by a rough horny covering against violent contact with ice and rocks; the fore paws are a kind of webbed hand, capable of wide expansion and 2 to 3 ft. long; the hind limbs extend straight backward, but are not united; all the fingers and toes have a small nail; there are four ventral mammae. The skin is between 1 and 2 in. thick, with a covering of close brown hair, and under it is a thin coating of fat, enabling them to withstand the cofd of the arctic regions. They attain a length of 12 to 15 and sometimes 20 ft., a circumference of 8 to 10 ft., and a weight of nearly a ton; the color is blackish in the young, brownish in the adults, and more and more whitish with age. They swim very rapidly, but are awkward on land, where they go to rest and to bring forth and suckle their young; they are monogamous, and gregarious both in the water and on land; peaceful, and not afraid of man unless when hunted, but bravely defending their young and their wounded companions; when persecuted they become very wary, and when asleep on the ice floes or the land always set guards; they will carry off their wounded or helpless young with their fore paws.

They often have combats with the polar bear on the ice, and with the narwhal and carnivorous fishes in the water. They lie huddled together like swine in their resting places, making loud roarings if disturbed; they may be domesticated like the seals, if taken young, though they are far less docile. The tusks, which weigh 4 to 6 lbs. each, are used as weapons, for climbing on ice and advancing on land, and for tearing up sea weeds. For accounts of their habits see J. Lamont's "Seasons with the Sea Horses" (8vo, London, 1860), and "Yachting in the Arctic Seas" (1876). The food consists almost entirely of the bivalve shells attached to the sea weeds which it tears from the rocks, but occasionally of fish. It is distributed in the arctic regions of both hemispheres, often confined to limited districts far removed from each other; one of their favorite resorts is the sea about Kamtchatka and 10 to 15 degrees on each side on the American and Asiatic Shores; another larger one extends from the mouth of the Yenisei, on the N. coast of Siberia, westward to Baffin bay and Prince Regent inlet; its range extends as far as lat. 80° N., and formerly descended in the spring to the Magdalen islands in the gulf of St. Lawrence, in lat. 47°; it occasionally wanders to the coasts of Iceland, and it is especially abundant about Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla. The capture of the walrus is more dangerous and less remunerative than that of the seal, and is pursued both by land and sea.

It is hunted for the tusks, oil, skin, and flesh. The tusks afford a very white and hard ivory. It does not yield more than 25 to 30 gallons of oil; but, if extracted before putrefaction has commenced, it is transparent, free from odor, and not unpleasant to the taste, and is then more valued than that of the whale. The skin makes a porous leather more than an inch thick. The flesh is eaten by the Esquimaux and by arctic voyagers.

Walrus.

Walrus.