Life Cycle of Fur Seals

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There are currently nine known species of fur seals, all of which are more closely related to sea lions than actual seals. They have external ear flaps, extremely strong front flippers and the ability to walk using all four limbs. Fur seals have long been hunted for their dense undercoats.

Mating

  • The life cycle begins with mating. The females give birth to last year's offspring and then mates.

Gestation/Birth

  • Gestation lasts 11.5 months. Females give birth to live young, which they will nurse for up to eight days before mating again and finding food.

Development

  • The females will return to nurse their pups every few days until they are weaned. This process takes approxmately four months. The pup will then join his mother on hunting expeditions.

Maturation

  • The pup will leave its mother after a few months, but will not be sexually mature for five years. The females will return to the same breeding grounds where they were born. The males will take up residence in new areas.

Life Expectancy

  • The life expectancy of a fur seal is up to 26 years, although most do not live this long. The death rate for fur seals is extremely high, with between 10 percent and 50 percent of death due to predation and hunting.

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