Last item for navigation
Artifact of the Week: Walrus Tusk

What do you think this is?

Where could it have been found?

What uses did it have?


What do you think this is? Where could it have been found?

This is a lateral cross-section of a walrus tusk! The tusks of a walrus are not true tusks, but are elongated upper canine teeth, and can be found in both male and female walruses, although they are more pronounced in the male. Most walruses today live around the Pacific Ocean, mostly in subarctic climates, but there is a much smaller population of Atlantic walruses living in the subarctic regions of the Atlantic Ocean. This tusk cross-section was donated to the Karshner Center in 1930.

What uses did it have?

Walruses have many uses for their teeth and tusks. Sometimes they are used for displays of social dominance, but also they have been known to use them to help themselves up out of the water, or to simply rest their heads on the ice while they take a nap in the water. Throughout history humans have also taken an interest in using walrus tusks, often collecting them for making tools or jewelry.

For more information, visit:

Questions? Comments? Email us!