Life in the Sea - Seals

The seals are marine mammals. The seal family includes the seal, sea lion and the walrus.

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There are about 30 species of seals. They all can be classified into two types: eared seals and true seals. Eared seals have ears that can be seen, and their flippers work well on land. True seals have tiny ears, and their flippers work better in the water.

Seals spend much of their time in water. But, they must return to the surface to breathe, just like other mammals.

A seal's respiratory system is adapted for water. A seal can go for 40 minutes without a breath. This allows them to dive to a depth of over 2,000 feet.

Seals are well design to swim in water. Their bodies are very streamlined and their flippers propel them quickly through the water.

Seals also spend considerable time lying around on rocky islands and beaches. But they are clumsy and move slowly on land using their flippers.

Baby seals are born on land after a long, 12 month gestation period. The pups develop rapidly, with some able to swim within a few hours of birth.

Walruses differ from seals in that they are larger and have large tusks. They can be over 10 feet long and over 3,000 pounds.

 

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