Ivory is a hard, white, opaque substance that is the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals such as the elephant, hippopotamus, walrus, mammoth, narwhal, etc. The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same regardless of the species of origin. Therefore, “ivory” can correctly be used to describe any mammalian teeth or tusks of commercial interest which is large enough to be carved or scrimshawed.
Walrus tusk ivory comes from two modified upper canines. The tusks of a Pacific walrus may attain a length of one meter. Walrus teeth are also commercially carved and traded. The average walrus tooth has a rounded, irregular peg shape and is approximately 5cm [2 inches] in length.
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