Rosmarus drawing from the imagination of Olaus Magnus. Magnus, in the 16th century, published a book about Scandinavian and Swedish history and mythology. When it came to his conversations about the walrus, one can only assume that he was spinning a tale from some regional myth. He created a number of versions of this creature, each with its own scientific-sounding name. This one was simply called rosmarus; which is part of the scientific name for an Atlantic walrus – Odobenus rosmarus.
Like all of Magnus’ walruses, this one has four legs and feet with toes and claws. This fellow has a split goldfish-like tail that’s on the small side. And, he has a row of scalloped armor down his back. He looks quite fierce with spines under his chin, around his cheeks and part-way down his back. If that doesn’t scare away the wayward seaman, the teeth and large protruding tusks should.
This rosmarus drawing comes from the History of North American pinnipeds: a monograph of the walruses, sea-lions, sea-bears and seals of North America which was published in 1880 and written by Allen, J. A. (Joel Asaph), 1838-1921. However, the original design dates back to 1555.
We have a larger version of this rosmarus drawing. Simply click on the sea monster above to access it.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.