This is an animal that belongs to the predatory detachment, the family real seals. This predator is called a humpbonhazardous or crazy seal. There are currently 2 subspecies: Atlantic and Baltic.
Gray seal-a large mammal, the length of the body of which is 2-3 m. Animal weight-130-300 kg. Sexual dimorphism is expressed in size: the body length of the female is about 2 m. The gray seal has a thick fat layer, its sebaceous glands are more massive than other representatives. The predator is tightly covered with rough fur. Due to the spindle-shaped shape of the body, the thick layer of fat, the seal does not freeze, and the body temperature of 38 degrees never decreases.
The animal has a short and sedentary neck. There are crooked nails on the front limbs, which help to calmly go on land. The rear fins are elongated, they cannot be bent in the heel, because the predator cannot walk. The body is painted in a gray torso, a naval belly is white. There are many spots on the body. The gray seal has an elongated muzzle, rather large nostrils. From relatives, this species can be distinguished by the direct upper profile and the pale gray color of the head.
Where it lives
Gray seal inhabit the shores of the Baltic and Barents Sea, the Kola Peninsula. Atlantic subspecies lives near Canada, namely on the banks of Newfoundland and many islands, such as Siblust and Dedman, Amet and Cape Breton, anti. Sometimes this subspecies can be found in US ponds. Another population of Atlantic gray seals enters the water area of Iceland and Great Britain, on the coast of Scandinavia and Europe. The Baltic subspecies inhabit the islands located in the Murmansk region: Veshnyak and Kuvshin, Harlovskiy Bableshi, Ainov Oz, the shores of Teriberka and Syvaganki and the Social of Schools, located next to the Gulf of Finland. Sometimes swims in the waters of “warriors” and “shell. Several times representatives of the subspecies met in the Pechora Sea, near the White Sea.
This animal forms 2 ecoforms. Pagdomatic can be found in the ice cover, such animals are fed there and actively mate. Other Pagophobic the form creates “lounges” and multiplies only on land.
The reproduction period depends on the habitat of the population. Baltic subspecies more often produces offspring on ice. In this subspecies, offspring appears from February to March. In the waters of the Murmansk region, females produce Belkov from November to December, on the banks of England, kids appear from October to December. On the coast of Ireland, cubs are born from August to September.
Gray seal is a polygamous predator, but it all depends on the habitat. So, on the coast of Canada, animals are monogamous, cubs most often grow in a full family. Sometimes whole harems are formed on the deposits, but often animals create couples during the mating season. At this time, males are very aggressive, they protect the territory from other individuals. Experienced males usually drive rivals to ice and begin to collect harem. Males calmly treat their female, and in case of their departure, do not even attempt to return them.
Pregnancy lasts 8-12 months, the embryo has long been in the latent stage of development, which lasts 2 months. Because of this, bearing the fetus is almost always delayed for a year. Mother feeds the cub milk for about a month. At the end, the length of the baby is more than a meter, and the mass of his body is already 40 kg. Then the growth of the squirrel slows down, and the animal can remain in such a weight for a long time. But at the age of 5, the mass of males is already 70-100 kg.
The length of the puppy’s body is meter, body weight varies from 15 to 20 kg. The animal is covered with white thick fur, which will disappear in a week: after molting and will be replaced with gray hard hairline.
Basically, the gray seal feeds on Heck and herring, representatives of salmon and elevia with acne. The animal eats food and sargan with cod, flounder and bulls. The predator also loves to enjoy the octopus and shrimp. Occasionally the seal hunts dolphins. At the same time, the animal uses echolocation and acute vision the predator sees prey in dirty water. Gray seals are able to hunt at great depths 100 m under water, because the diet of animals includes many tributaries: Pinagore and representatives of cod.
Sharks and killer whales often hunt for this animal. Gray seal escapes from them jumping on land before it is overtaken. Scientists believe that the White Bear is also an enemy of the seal. He is trying to get wellfed representatives, but this rarely succeeds in this agile predator.
This animal does not like to travel and prefers settiness. Although sometimes predators still migrate. Since December, the Baltic subspecies has been trying to stay on ice floes in the Baltic Sea, in March animals are settled on this sea, and then again migrate to special places for reproduction.
During the period of lumps, males often fight and during this roar loudly. This sound is heard for many kilometers.
- Gray seals are easy to train, they can recognize potentially dangerous objects, put on equipment.
- The age of the animal can be determined by the rings on fangs.
- The blood of a gray seal contains a lot of hemoglobin, because they can be under water for 20 minutes.
- Tevyakov has a very sensitive dream.
- The fat content of milk in females is about 50%.
- The heartbeat is reduced to 6 beats/ min, when the predator plunges into the water.
- Females become sexually mature at 3 years old, the 1st pregnancy occurs somewhere in 5 years. Males reaches sexuality only at 6 years old.
- Mother produces cubs at night, if an hour after childbirth, someone distorts her, then the female throws the puppy.
- Vibrissas of a gray seal capture fish movements.
- He cannot chew a predator, he swallows small representatives of fish, he simply tears large.
- To maintain the fat layer “in shape” the animal eats 5 kg of food every day.
- Seal habitat selects on the basis of the salinity of water. So, the lower this indicator, the better the living conditions.
- Gray seals are more active during the day. Animals are inactive not only at night, but also during the tide.
- The life expectancy of females is 35 years, in males this indicator is 25 years. In captivity, animals live from 28 to 40 years old.
Gray seal is listed in the Red Book MSOP. To protect the Baltic population of the species, the Helsinsky Convention forced the Baltic states to reduce the emissions of DDT, mercury and oil, other biogenic compounds into water. In Eurasia since 1970, a ban on catching representatives of this type was introduced. Now scientists are working on the creation of guarded areas on the island of Maly Tuhers and Sescar. In the future, a gray seal is planned to be divorced in zoos.