Seals (Pinnipedia) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name - Seals

Scientific Name : Pinnipedia

Type : Aquatic Animal 

Age : 25 to 46 years 

Diet : Carnivore

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 1.3 m To 3.7 m.

Weight : 60 Kg. To 4000 Kg. 

Top Speed : 35 kmph in water 2kmph on land

Colour : blonde to black, but generally grey with dark spots.

Skin Type : smooth-grain like soft Leather with dense fur

Lifespan : 25 to 46 years 

Current Population : 2 million to 75 million

Current Population Trend : decreasing

Native : Arctic and Antarctic waters

Facts

Main Prey : fish, eel, squid, octopus and lobster.

Habitat : coasts and cold waters

Predators : killer whales, polar bears, leopard seals, large sharks, and human beings.

Lifestyle : Nocturnal 

Favourite Food : fish

Amazing Facts

  • One distinction between the two forms of seals is their ears, as their names indicate. True seals do not have external ear flaps, while ear seals do. True seals have backward-pointing rear flippers and travel on land in an up-and-down undulating motion. Fur seals and sea lions have the ability to rotate their hind feet and use them to walk faster.
  • True seals are usually found in the Arctic Ocean or off the coasts of Antarctica. Some seals live in caves cut out of the snow. Others never take their hands off the ice pack and poke breathing holes in it.
  • When mating season arrives, male seals make deep, throaty calls to draw females’ attention. A male seal will also call out to other male seals to let them know that his females have been claimed. When it comes to mating, males are fiercely territorial. They’ll struggle for the right to mate, hitting and biting each other in the process. The winner will have the ability to mate with up to 50 local females.
  • Mothers bear their children for about ten months during the gestation period. Some seals will dig nests in the sand to raise their young when they believe the time is right. Per year, seals and sea lions have just one pup. Others, such as the harp seal, will have their young on icebergs. Pups, or young seals, will remain on land until their waterproof fur grows in.
  • Pinnipeds are a group of animals that includes 33 species, the majority of which are known as seals. Pinnipedia is classified into three groups: the walrus, which is the only living member of the Odobenidae family; the eared seals of Otariidae, which comprise a number of fur seals and sea lions; and the earless seals, also known as true seals or Phocidae.
  • In addition to dense fur, the animals are kept warm by thick layers of fat, also known as blubber. Walruses are an exception, as their huge, tusked pinnipeds have almost hairless bodies.
  • Adult seals don’t drink as much. The fish they eat provide them with the fresh water they need. The water comes from burning their blubber when they haven’t eaten in a while. They usually ‘drink’ salt water while they live by the sea. Their kidneys have evolved to separate the salt and excrete it by urine. They pee, but only in small amounts. Urine is highly soluble and can be saltier than seawater in some cases.
  • In the past, seals were heavily hunted in the North Sea area. They were treated as an annoyance. They grabbed fish from fishermen’s nets and damaged them. Every seal shot resulted in a bonus for the hunters. Despite the fact that seal hunting in the Wadden and North Seas was abolished over 40 years ago and the number of seals has increased, they are still endangered.
  • Ice seals, also known as ringed, ribbon, patched, and bearded seals, are Arctic residents. The entire ringed seal lifecycle is dependent on ice, and in the Arctic, rapid ice loss causes seal pups to be separated from their mothers during the milking season. Pup mortality is high due to rapid ice loss and the inability to create dens for safety.
  • Seals have been hunted for their meat, skins, oil, and fur since the beginning of time. Harp seal pups, for example, are born with white coats that are highly sought after in the fur trade.

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