In Mundomar we have a large seal population, divided into two different orders: The Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) and Vitulinas Seals (Phoca Vitulina). Both belong to marine mammals like seals adapted to living in aquatic environments most of the time. The term in Portuguese and Castilian “seal” derives directly from Latin phoca which in turn has its origin in the Greek φώκη.

Species

Halichoerus grypus

Order

Carnivora

Family

Phocidae

Danger of Extinction

Amenazada (vulnerable)

Features

Features:

The seals inhabit coastal regions of much of the globe, with the exception of the tropics. They have elongated bodies and spindle adapted to swimming; forelimbs are short and flattened, better prepared for use as fins for movement on land, which is awkward, although some species can move at high speed using creeping movements. Subsequent adopt a fixed back and can not be retracted position. Unlike other pinnipeds, the seals lack external ear.

The fur seals is generally short and dense in adulthood; most of the thermal protection does not offer this, but the thick layer of subcutaneous fat which can represent up to a quarter of the weight of the animal. Some species have almost no hair.

Customs, food and habitat:

Customs, food and habitat:

It is relatively common in North Atlantic waters. It is the only species of its genus.

It lives along coastlines in temperate and cold seas of the Northern Hemisphere. It can be found in the coastal waters of the north Atlantic and Pacific, as well as in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea which makes it the most widely distributed species of pinnipeds.

Curiosities

Curiosities:

The social structure of the seals varies greatly among species; unlike sea lions do not usually form large colonies. Some species form monogamous pairs, others associate in small tribes; the elephant herds are composed of a dominant male and a harem of females. They are very effective predators feeding on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods, although some species also catch smaller penguins and seals.

Seals are able to swim long distances and dive to great depths to capture its prey. The distances to be covered during feeding impose a peculiar rhythm of breastfeeding; seal milk is extremely rich in calories to allow the baby to survive for long absences from his mother.

The seals are not migratory mammals. They usually come in groups of one hundred copies and have a preference to go to coasts, bays, etc..