Seals

Seals are one of the most unique mammals in the world. They are one of the few mammals that lives underwater. Seals are classified into three groups: the seals with ears, called otaridae, like the leopard seal, and earless seals, called phocidae, like the harbor seal, and odobenidae, like walruses. [1] Seals have many different methods of survival, and some of them are common methods that are shared with different animals.Seals are warm-blooded and nurse their young like most mammals, but unlike most mammals, they don’t have arms and legs, but instead large flippers. They also have many physical features to help them adapt to their habitats. [2]Seals have many ways of adaptation. They have blubbler under their skin, (a layer of fat) that prevents them from losing heat in cold waters. Their fur coat has a streamlined shape that can beat currents and water resistance. They have whiskers to allow it to find prey in dark waters. [3] Their large flippers allows them to swim faster. They can store plenty oxygen in their muscles, allowing them to stay underwater longer than most marine animals. [2]Most seals live in the Arctic or the Antarctic, although some seals live in the Tropic. [3] Global warming has a harmful effect on seals living in cold places, causing them to have excess blubber that causes dysfunctional adaptation. [2]Seals have different life spans, depending on their species. For example, a common seal has an average life span of thirty years. Female seals can reproduce every year after they have reached an age of around five to seven until twenty-three years. Male seals can mate with females at an age of around four to five years, although normally, they do not breed until they reach the age of ten. [4] They give birth to young seals called pups. During mating season, male seals do not eat for about ninety days. Ruling males fight more peaceful males to mate with a female. Female seals produce one seal at a time, and they are very careful with their pups. If a mother seal dies, the pups will have to survive on it’s own, and would not be taken in by other female seals. [2]Seals prey on small animals, such as shellfish, squids, and fishes. Seals living in cold areas feed on arctic animals such as penguins and seabirds. They are preyed on by killer whales, sharks, and polar bears. [2]Seals travels in groups, with hundreds of seals in each group, which is a way for the seals to protect themselves from their predators. Humans are the biggest threats to seals. With oil spills and excessive poaching, seals are slowly becoming endangered. [2]Seals have many different ways of survival. They are a very unique species, but are slowly becoming endangered. To ensure their survival, humans should attempt to prevent oil spills and stop poaching.[1] Seal Facts, http://www.softschools.com/facts/animals/seal_facts/13/[2] Seal Facts, https://www.whalefacts.org/seal-facts/[3] Fun Seal Facts for Kids, http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/seal.html[4] Seals, https://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/seals/

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