Common seal - description, habitat, lifestyle

Seals mean animals of the water type, respectively, the external characteristics of individuals are maximally adapted to such a manner of existence. Distribution mainly affects the area near the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea, the Bering Sea, Greenland, etc. Of course, individuals of this species live in other similar places if the local climatic conditions are suitable for them. In today's material we will study everything related to seals, so that everyone can draw certain conclusions for themselves.

Description

  1. It has already been mentioned earlier that the external features of these animals are completely determined by the territories in which they live and the way they live. These terrestrial lodges are classified as pinnipeds. They move terribly along the shore, but they swim very well and reach their goal fairly quickly. However, on land, these representatives of the species live, they have not lost this connection, in contrast, for example, from dolphins or whales.
  2. Seals are understood as large aquatic animals. By the mass of the body, they can reach about 40 kg. (seals) or 2 tons (elephant seals). It all depends on the specific species, however, as well as overall characteristics. Seals grow up to 1.2 m., But elephant seals can even reach 6 m. Agree, it’s impressive, because seals are presented to all as medium-sized harmless creatures. An interesting feature of these animals is that their body weight and total volumes are modified along with how fatty tissue accumulates or burns during a given season.
  3. In terms of body format, these individuals are elongated, rounded, elongated, and as if streamlined. They are rounded from almost all sides, which gives even more emotion. The neck is compacted and shortened. The head is medium or even small in size, the skull itself is thick and durable. Fins are developed and strong.
  4. The body is covered with a woolen cover, which performs several important tasks simultaneously. Animals easily swim, not constrained in movement. But at the same time they are protected from cold and get wet less. Seals have a decent fat reserve, which does not allow them to freeze in ice water. This fat accumulates in the winter, then melted, the animal loses weight. Subcutaneous adipose tissue is responsible for heat exchange.
  5. As for the color of the body, most of the individuals of the represented family are pigmented brown or gray; black or dark gray blotches can be observed. The pattern in point is not observed at all. These individuals move overland clumsily, like lumps. Their hind limbs take no part in the process, which is a pity for the animals. But we all know that in the water they are beautiful swimmers.
  6. Even despite the impressive body weight, these animals cope with the movement briskly. As soon as they get into their native spaces, they immediately get rid of the slowness inherent in individuals moving along the coast. In the aquatic environment, seals accelerate to 20 kilometers per hour or even more. They dive up to 600 meters deep, not feeling discomfort. They can swim without rising, about 10 minutes.
  7. Such a long period of stay under water is due to the presence of a special oxygen bag, which is located under the skin. As soon as oxygen runs out, individuals are selected on land, stored by it, and can be sent back to their spaces. The eyes are large, but these animals cannot boast of excellent vision. All seals suffer from myopia. But they are distinguished by good hearing and smell, smells are felt in half a kilometer.
  8. Seals have a tactile mustache. It is thanks to them that animals can easily navigate between obstacles under water. Interestingly, some species of relatives have the ability to echolocate. But if you compare such animals with dolphins or whales, then it is much less developed.
  9. It should be noted that the individuals in question lack sexual dimorphism. It is impossible to distinguish females from males. Only some subspecies are distinguishable. Among these are hohlachi seals and elephant seals. The males on the face there is an unusual pattern. The genitals in such individuals are hidden between the fat folds, they are not visible.

Nutrition

  1. The basis of the diet of the animals discussed is mainly fish. Aquatic mammals love pork, herring, smelt, capelin, and sometimes feed on invertebrates. Seals are not one of those animals that migrate.
  2. They live mainly in coastal waters. At the end of summer and with the onset of spring, they prefer to spend most of their time on the shallows. It is in such places most often ebbs and flows. Such individuals do not like open spaces and wide shores.

Breeding

  1. After mating, the female bears offspring for 11 months. Then only 1 baby is born. At the same time it has a mass of 12 kg., And the length is 1 m. As for the females that live outside the Arctic waters, they bring young stock on the shallows when the outflow begins.
  2. As soon as the water begins to return, after a while the baby is already able to swim independently. At the same time, he continues to eat mother's milk for about 1 month. After that, most often the female mates again and begins to wait for the next baby. All mating actions occur in the water.
  3. After that, the presented animals begin the season of molting. The seals are located in places where sharp reefs and rocks protrude. Thus, they save themselves from various predators.

The natural enemies of seals are most often polar bears. However, the individuals in question are very cautious and rarely appear at the site of the victim. The main danger to seals is the killer whale. Such individuals are very strong and fast, so they easily catch up with their prey. Seals can not escape the killer whale in the water, unless it jumps out onto dry land.

Video: common seal (Phoca vitulina)

Watch the video: 13 Fun facts about our flippered friend - the SEAL (September 2019).