Alike water seal arctic regions are born on icebergs in waters cold in the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean. At birth, they do not have a lovely plump appearance, but rely on a rich source of breast milk to grow as quickly as possible during the first 12 days, when they reach about 36kg.
After that time, they will have to “self-help” and start looking for food. While not hunting, baby seals must rely on fat stores when fed with breast milk and can lose up to 50% of their initial weight. This period lasts about 6 weeks.
When born, baby seals have pure white fur that helps them absorb sunlight to keep warm. At 3-4 weeks of age, this coat will gradually fall off. Depending on the seal breed, they will have a thicker or thinner coat as they mature. Mother seals recognize their cubs through their distinctive scent.
Video of the baby seal calling his mother with a “heartbreaking” cry:
Baby seal calling mom.
Seals are also related to many other marine animals such as sea lions, walruses or fur seals. Although collectively known as seals, “true seals” have no ears and move by slithering on land, while fur seals have thick fur and small earlobes.
There are 18 different species of true seals. The largest of them all is the southern elephant seal, with an adult male weighing up to nearly 4 tons and 5 meters long. Meanwhile, the female weighs less than 1 ton and is about 3 meters long. The Galapagos seal is the smallest at just 1 meter in size and 45 kilograms in weight.
Galapagos fur seal.
In the wild, many seal species can live up to 35 years, such as the gray seal or the Greenland seal. Greenland seals are very good at “traveling” when they can travel 5000km to find food.
A baby Greenland seal.
Seals are not only distributed in the polar regions. They are present everywhere, from the poles to sunny and windy tropical beaches.
In addition to body odor, seals and seals also recognize each other by their distinctive calls. A study in Alaska found that even after being separated for up to 4 years, they could still recognize each other.
A seal mother and daughter pair.
Seals have been fished throughout history because their coats and fat are of high economic value. Although most seal species still exist and thrive in the wild, they are still protected globally. Over the past century, many seal species have become extinct, including the Caribbean monk seal and the Japanese sea lion.
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