Search form

About The Blogger

Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
Back to Blog

Using the News in the Classroom: Walrus found off the coast of Ireland


In the News:

A walrus, the size of a cow, found itself off the coast of Ireland, the first ever confirmed spotting of a walrus in Ireland! Native to the Arctic, scientists think the walrus was on an iceberg and fell asleep as the iceberg drifted further and further south. Thousands of miles from home, the walrus is thought to be young because of the size of its tusks. It was spotted by a young girl who was walking with her dad, along Valentia Island, in County Kerry, Ireland. At this time, there aren’t any plans to step in to do anything to assist the walrus to get back home.

Did You Know?

1. Walrus can swim up to 21.7 mph, averaging about 4.3 miles per hour.

2. The life span of a walrus is about 40 years.

3. Marine mammals with front and rear flipper are known as PINNIPEDS.

4. Carnivorous, walrus especially like eating shellfish such as clams, mussels and other crustaceans.

5. The eyesight of a walrus is poor in murky waters, so they rely on their whiskers to help in food detection.

6. Both male and female walrus have tusks. 

7. The tusk, up to 3 ft. long, used like hooks, are helpful in getting out of the water and onto ice. The tusks  also are used to break through the icy waters to make breathing holes and are used as protection.

8.  Walrus are native to the Arctic waters.

9.  An air sac found in a walrus’ throat allows it to float while sleeping.

10. Nicknamed the “Giants(Kings) of the Arctic), a walrus can tip the scales at about 3000 pounds.

11. The biggest population(group of walrus is called a “herd”) of walrus is found in Foxe Basin, Nunavut, Canada. (about 5000 live here).

12. Especially when in the water, walrus can stay awake for over 3 days but on land can sleep for up to 19 hours!

13.  Meaning “tooth walking seahorse” in Latin, the walrus’ genus name is Odobenus.

14. About 450 sensitive whiskers make up the “moustache” of a walrus.

15. Walrus can slow their heartbeat down in colder temperatures and can dive to depths of almost 300 ft. and stay underwater for up to 30 minutes.

Your Turn:

1. Write a diary entry pretending to be the walrus and tell how you got to Ireland, thousands of miles away from home. 

2. Illustrate one of the facts about walruses.


Check out my website for teachers/kids


Illustration from pixabay.