Amazing Nature #143 - Danger of extinction hooded seal
Danger of extinction hooded seal
Today I bring you a fascinating creature of the sea, I love the sea, I consider it a world apart from the one we know, another thing about the sea is that it has been little explored due to the depths that generate unbearable pressures for the human being. Today I will be talking a bit about the hooded seal. Come with me to learn more about this hooded seal creature.
This peculiar species lives in extreme areas of the Arctic Ocean, and some areas of the Atlantic, among the inhabited areas, are very close to the island of Madagascar in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in some areas of Greenland.
So as you can see it is a very active animal traveling great distances never to be in one place for more than two weeks. Although since the 90s this mammal has drastically changed its behavior mainly due to the high temperatures whose change in the Arctic areas has forced to change habitat and sometimes even die mostly by leaving the cold areas and moving to warmer places.
As its name indicates this seal is named after a natural helmet or hood that is actually an appendage of the nose is present only in males and is growing as they get older, in this species there is a clear dimorphism in which females are very small and males sometimes double the weight and size of females, males can measure up to 3.5 meters and females 2.5 meters in length and weigh barely 150 kilograms while males can weigh 400 kilograms, almost a ton.
One of the most resultant characteristics is that the male has a very aggressive behavior when they are fighting for territory or for reproductive purposes so able to inflate their appendix to inflate as if it were a sports ball.
As far as their color we have that they are of dark brown and dark black. In its first years of life, its coat is white with bluish grey tones. The appendage of males can use it as if it were a wind instrument, blowing can emit sounds to attract the attention of their opponents.
Other aspects of reproduction are that females achieve sexual maturity at 3 years of life another take twice as long 6 years, while males can last up to 10 years to reach. Compared to other species, the hooded seal is polygamous. The gestation period can last up to 12 months giving birth to 3 pups.
As far as its diet is concerned, this species is totally carnivorous, it has a diet based on fish of great variety and some marine invertebrates. They usually hunt in areas that can reach 600 meters deep and can be up to 1 hour submerged.
Their natural predators are polar bears and killer whales that hunt them without any problem when they are gathered in large numbers.
They are currently in danger of extinction. The first Royal record of the population of this seal species was in 1996 when some 25,000 seals were counted dead as a result of hunting by hunters looking for their flesh and skin. The record was kept in Canada and quickly spread to other countries in the Arctic Circle such as Norway and Denmark, which have banned its commercialization.
The other not less important factor that has made this beautiful species disappear is due to global warming, for an animal that requires low temperatures the gradual increase of the temperature is the cause of thousands of deaths a year. This affects not only seals but other species living nearby.
Thank you for reading
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