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Seals are mammals which belong to the family of Pinnipeds. These sea animals can be found in the water of all over the world from Arctic Ocean to Antarctic Ocean. There are three different families in the family of Pinnipeds namely Otaridae (or ear seals), Odobenidae (or the walrus) and Phocidae (or earless seals). Pinnipeds have sleek and barrel-shaped body. They have short and wide flippers. These creatures can grow up to a size of 4 meters and weigh up to 4000 kilograms. Their weight and size depends on the family to which they belong.
Pinnipeds Family or Types of Seals
The three families of the Pinnipeds are as follows:
These seals are also known as eared seals or walking seals. In this family the animals like fur seals or sea lions are included. These eared seals have external ears and a snout that resembles to the snout of a dog. Moreover, their fore flippers are larger compared to the earless seals.
These seals are also known as earless seals, true seals or phocids. They have streamlined snouts and the internal ears are absent in these creatures. The rear flipper of these species is more developed than the front flippers and they use flippers efficiently while swimming.
These species are commonly known as walrus. They have long tusks and are bulky in their size. These animals do not have external ears and they like to feed on clams unlike other families of seals.
In the seals family, all the seals are found to be carnivores by nature. They feed mainly on crustaceans, fish and shellfish. These species feed on different prey depending on the season or availability. The only predator of these large gigantic seals is the killer whales, which eat these seals.
The reproduction process in the seals takes place on the land as well as in water, but the young ones are born on the land. The male of these species, mate with as many females as they possibly can. It takes about nine months for the pup to fully develop and then they are born. After the birth of the pups, the mothers take care of their pups. The mother has a sense of smell and they make a call which helps them to communicate between each other. The mother feeds milk for a month to her pups. After that when the pups start eating on their own they are left by their mother to live on their own. These creatures can have a life span of about 50 years, but it depends on the environment in which they are.
Some of the interesting facts about these species are as follows
- They can hold breath for a long time.
- They can even sleep underwater.
- Their skin is protected by thick layer of blubber and a thick fur coat.
- They have large round eyes.
- These animals have an excellent sense of smell.
Seals are very curious animals and sometimes follow boats. People think that these are lazy creatures, but this is not the fact. Actually, they are more active in water compared to land. This is a creature which is very interesting to know about.