Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Seals, Seals everywhere

For the last few months the seals have been on the ice giving birth. I was never able to go out and see them for myself, but one of the scientists was nice enough to send me some pictures. These are Weddell Seals. The are native to the area. In this particular colony has had every seal has been tagged for the last 35 years.

This is an crabeater seal. The are also native to the area. When pupping time occurs, both species give birth at the same location.

When the seals are first born, they weigh any where from 25 to 30 pounds. This new born is only a few day old.

Pups grow up fast. For the first few months of their lives they live on mom's milk. They do not start swimming until around 6 months. Most of their time is spent next to mom sunbathing.

This is a pup at about 3 months. He now weighs about 90 pounds.

The crabeater seals are mainly white. The pups are similar in size and weight to the Weddell seals. This is a toddler with mom.

The scientist weighs and tag each seal and new born pup. They track how many babies are born and how many babies each mother has over her life time. To get their weight, the scientist places the babies into a weighing bag and hangs them from the scale.


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