Posted on Nov 17, 2021 22
Charming fur seals are amazing creatures. They live in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and there are several dozen of their species in the world. However, all of them are quite similar to each other, they have almost identical lifestyles and exactly the same way they eat, breed and bask in the sun. Seals are usually not a threat to humans, and it is very interesting to observe them - there are even special tours for this purpose.
Navy SEAL Facts
- Most of their species differ mainly in size, but otherwise they are very similar in appearance.
- The rookery of seals, where they go ashore, usually smells so strongly of fish that even a person can smell it from a distance of several kilometers.
- Zoologists refer seals to eared seals.
- It is quite difficult to get their fur wet, because in their soft undercoat the air is delayed, which creates an air layer between the soaked fur, coarse and tough, and the skin. This helps them stay warm in cold water.
- Seals spend about half their lives in the water and the other half on land.
- During the breeding season, males fight fiercely with each other for females, biting furiously. To tell the truth, they usually grab each other’s necks, and it is there that the layer of subcutaneous fat is the thickest, which protects them from serious injuries.
- Thanks to their sharp eyesight, they can see their prey and successfully hunt even deep underwater, where it is always dark.
- When hunting, seals can dive to a depth of up to 200 meters.
- Their swimming speed can reach 20 kilometers per hour.
- Usually, seals lead a solitary life, or gather in small groups, but in the breeding season, they gather in huge colonies, sometimes numbering tens of thousands of individuals.
- Their average life span depends on a particular species, and on average it varies from 12 to 30 years.
- The basis of the diet of seals are fish and mollusks, but occasionally they do not mind catching and some stray sea bird.
- Female seals always give birth to a single calf, as, for example, female elephant seals.
- Pregnancy with them lasts longer than with humans - from 11 to 12 months.
- Fertilization can be delayed for up to 3 months after meeting the male, and she can control this period herself.
- After giving birth to her first calf, the female seal continues to lactate for the rest of her life.
- Female seals easily recognize their cubs by their voice and scent. Thanks to these signs, they are able to recognize each other even after years of separation.
- Dominant male seals sometimes assemble harems of 30-40 females.
- Northern species of seals are larger than the southern.
- The total population of harbor seals is now estimated at 1.2 million individuals.
- Approximately two-thirds of all these animals in the world live in the Bering Sea.
- Male seals are one-third larger than females and sometimes weigh three to five times as much.
- The largest rookeries in the world, numbering hundreds of thousands of individuals, these animals in the breeding season form on Pribylova Island.
- Sharks and killer whales do not mind hunting seals occasionally.
- In XIX century, these animals were savagely exterminated for their fur, but in 1911, their hunting was forbidden. Now there is no longer a threat of extinction for them.
- Adult female may weigh only 25-40 kilograms and the weight of especially large males may reach 300 kilograms. But within the same species, the differences in weight are not so significant.
- Sensitive whiskers Vibrissae allow seals to feel the slightest fluctuations in the water column. This helps them hunt in the semi-darkness of the sea's depths.