A walrus's hearing is probably sensitive. Eskimos imitating walrus sounds have obtained a response from walruses 1.6 km (1 mile) away
Researchers believe that the walrus's eyesight is not as sharp as that of other pinnipeds. Because walruses feed on sedentary bottom-dwelling animals, acute vision is not necessary for survival.
- A walrus's skin is thick and not particularly sensitive to touch.
- Walruses seek out physical contact with other walruses.
- Vibrissae are extremely sensitive tactile organs. A substantial nerve system transmits tactile information from the vibrissae to the brain. Studies indicate that walruses are able to discriminate the shape and size of an object using their vibrissae.
Walruses prefer certain foods, but researchers do not know how acute the sense of taste is or how important it is in food preference. Walruses have fewer taste buds on their tongues than land mammals. However the taste buds that walruses do have are larger than those of other mammals.
The sense of smell in air is well developed. It probably functions mainly in mother/calf recognition, for sensing approaching predators, or for sensing other walruses while hauled-out.