Our walrus doesn't have straw in its head!

At 3.80 metres it is larger than any other seal and when full-grown weighs 1.5 tonnes - the walrus. The long tusks alone, which it uses to pull itself forward on land, weigh 3 kilogrammes. It can live to be 35 years old.

The realistic model of such an imposing walrus can also be marvelled at at the MEERESMUSEUM. And it has a history all of its own.

This superb walrus model was created in 1919. But it is not stuffed with straw, as many animal specimens from that period are. Quite the contrary! Our specimen was made using modern dermoplastics. This was an entirely new technique for creating models of animals at that time. In contrast to "stuffing", in this case the tanned skin (derma) is stretched exactly onto the model of the animal body. This makes the specimen particularly lifelike.

Our walrus is one of the most famous dermoplastic preparations by its world-famous creator, Herman H. ter Meer (1871-1934). Together with Hugo Bleil, the first taxidermist at the Natural History Museum in Stralsund, ter Meer was one of the founders of of the "German Association of Artists for Museum Dermoplastics" (in German: Deutschen Künstlervereinigung der Museumsdermoplastiker, or in short DEKÜSMUS).


  • Title: Walrus exhibit, created by famous taxidermist Hermann H. ter Meer
  • Physical Location: Deutsches Meeresmuseum, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum
  • Rights: photo: Johannes-Maria Schlorke

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