Millions of years ago, in the warm Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California, walrus species without tusks lived abundantly.
But in a new study, Cal State Fullerton paleontologists have identified three new walrus species discovered in Orange County and one of the new species has "semi-tusks" -- or longer teeth.
The other two new species don't have tusks and all predate the evolution of the long iconic ivory tusks of the modern-day walrus, which lives in the frigid Arctic.
The researchers describe a total of 12 specimens of fossil walruses from Orange, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz counties, all estimated to be 5 to 10 million years old. The fossils represent five species, with two of the three new species represented by specimens of males, females and juveniles.
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