The Walrus. (Source: wiki: However, the most likely origin of the word is the Old Norse hrossvalr, meaning "horse-whale", which was passed in an inverted form to Dutch and the North-German dialects as walros and Walross. The now archaic English word for walrus—morse—is widely supposed to have come from the Slavic. Thus ???? (morž) in Russian, mursu in Finnish, moršâ in Saami, and morse in French. Olaus Magnus, who depicted the walrus in the carta marina in 1539, first referred to it as the ros marus, likely a Latinization of morž, and this was adopted by Linnaeus in the binomial nomenclature. The coincidental similarity between "morsus" and the Latin for "death" (mors) and "to bite" (mordere) supposedly contributed to the walrus' reputation as a "terrible monster".