26 November, 2017
Think you know everything there is to know about seals? We’re pretty sure we can surprise you! Check out our favourite sealy facts below…
Seals breathe out rather than in before they go hunting! This means that there is very little oxygen in their bodies. Because of this, their heart rates slow right down and they store the small amount of oxygen they have in their muscles. So rather than pumping oxygen around their bodies, seals are completely focused on finding their next catch! To recover, they take in a big breath when they come back up to the surface, and they chill out a little before their next dive.
Unlike other sea creatures like whales and dolphins, seals can’t give birth in the sea, so they have to come ashore to have their pups. Between September and November, grey seals haul themselves onto rocky coastlines to have their fluffy new pups.
Common seals do things a bit differently, gathering on sandy shores between May and July, so their youngsters are born when it’s a little warmer. So if you want to see some adorable baby seals right here in the UK, make sure you look out for them over spring and autumn!
Killer whales are highly skilled predators, and seals are their favourite kind of food. But as humans, we actually pose the biggest threat to seals, because we are destroying their natural habitats at an alarming pace.
Because they’re keen and curious animals (much like dogs!), seals love to investigate items such as fishing equipment and litter. Sadly, they can’t digest these things and they can often get tangled up in bits of rubbish floating in the sea.
It may not seem like it when you watch seals on the telly, but they’re actually pretty big animals. Common seals can weigh up to 105kg – that’s the weight of more than three huge dalmatian dogs! They grow to be around 1.6m long too, which is about the size of a full-sized bed or a large refrigerator. They live to be around 20-30 years old, although one female seal in the Shetland Islands lived to be 46 years old!
They may look sweet, but seals have a mighty roar! Males, or ‘bulls’, are very protective of their underwater territories, where they attract female seals also known as ‘cows’. To fend off other male rivals, seals let out tremendous roars underneath the water, which marine biologists can pick up on special microphones.
There’s nowhere better to see your favourite flippered friends than at Deep Sea World! Our wonderful seals are called Morag, Benji, and Cody, and they can’t wait to meet you!