How many babies do Weddell seals have?
Weddell seals usually give birth to one pup per year, however the Weddell seal is one of the only species of seals that can give birth to twin pups. Birth of the pup only takes around one to four minutes. Newborn pups weigh about 25–30 kg and grow to two times their weight within their first week of life.
Why are Weddell seals important?
Weddell seals were an important source of food for both men and dogs throughout the early periods of Antarctic exploration and were used as dog food in McMurdo Sound until the 1990s. The local population was affected, but it has recovered since harvests ended.
What eats Weddell seals?
Weddell seals are carnivores. Their food varies with time and location but mid-water (pelagic) and bottom dwelling (benthic) fish, squid, octopus and prawns are common.
Do Weddell seals eat seals?
Length: 2.5 to 3.5 metres. Weight: 400 to 600kg. Diet: Fish, crustaceans, krill, squid, prawns, cephalopods, penguins, other seals. …
How do Weddell seals sleep?
Hugging its flippers tight into its body, the Weddell seal closed its eyes and appeared to fall into a deep, contented sleep. Weddell seals’ large bodies are covered in a thick layer of blubber to keep them warm above and below the icy waters of the Southern Ocean.
How many pups do seals have every year?
MATING AND BREEDING Most male and female harbor seals become sexually active at ages three to six or seven years. Adult females usually mate and give birth to one pup every year; the size of a pup can be 1/4 to 1/3 that of the mother. The gestation period is 9-11 months.
What are the adaptations of the Weddell seal?
Smooth, streamlined shape to pass easily through the water. Large eyes to help hunting prey under water and frequently under ice where light levels are very low. Whiskers (vibrissae) that help the seals feel their way in the dark when catching prey.
How do Weddell seals teach their pups to swim?
In the case of Weddell seals living in Antarctica, this is different – the pups swim with their mother for a few weeks and learn from her how to navigate under the ice before they start looking for food on their own. They are cute, they are furry, and they start diving into frigid Antarctic waters at two weeks old.
How do Weddell seals survive in Antarctica?
Weddell seals keep breathing holes in the ice open by rasping back and forth with their teeth, this allows them to live further south than any other mammal. They can swim large distances between breathing holes and cracks, finding the next hole using a form of sonar with high pitched sounds.
Where does a Weddell seal live?
Weddell seals spend much of their time below the Antarctic ice. They have the southernmost range of any seal, but find the chilly waters rich with the prey they seek. These seals do not migrate often and are commonly found within a few miles of their birthplace.
What are Weddell seals adaptations?
Where do Weddell seals live?
How does a Weddell seal get its food?
As the seal rises, the fish above it are backlit by the ice above and easily spotted in silhouette. Weddell seals can also use air to collect a meal. They have been known to blow air into cracks in the ice. The surprise tactic puts small fish to flight, which the seal then devours.
How many species of eared seals are there?
Eared seal. An eared seal or otariid or otary is any member of the marine mammal family Otariidae, one of three groupings of pinnipeds. They comprise 15 extant species in seven genera (another species became extinct in the 1950s) and are commonly known either as sea lions or fur seals, distinct from true seals (phocids)…
Where does the name eared seal come from?
Eared seal. The words ‘otariid’ and ‘otary’ come from the Greek otarion meaning “little ear”, referring to the small but visible external ear flaps ( pinnae ), which distinguishes them from the phocids .
Along with the Phocidae (earless seals) and Odobenidae (walrus), the two other members of Pinnipedia, Otаriidae are descended from a common ancestor most closely related to modern bears. Debate remains as to whether the phocids diverged from the otariids before or after the walrus.