Description of Seals

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Seals are mammals that split their time living on land and in the ocean. They can be found in polar, subpolar and temperate waters in both hemispheres. Though a variety of ocean mammals have been called seals, the earless seals are called the true seals.

Body Type

  • Seals' bodies are sleek and slender but shaped like a barrel. As a result, when they swim, the movement is similar to a fish, and they dive through water exceptionally well.

Body Composition

  • Earless seals have 1 to 6 inches of blubber to keep them warm.

Flippers

  • Earless seals have broad hind flippers to help power them through water, and smaller fore-flippers for steering. Their hind flippers are not useful for locomoting on land, so they pull themselves along on their bellies using their fore-flippers and torso musculature.

Whiskers

  • Seals have long whiskers that help them navigate through water.

Sex Characteristics

  • So seals can quickly and efficiently move through water, their nipples are retractable, and their mammary glands and testicles are located under their skin.

References

  • Photo Credit Marcel Burkhard
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