Khokhlach Description and photo of the seal, where it lives, features

This amazing seal got its unusual name because of a unique appearance-and all thanks to the leathery eg in the face of representatives of its strong half. Such an education, sometimes simply called bangs or crest, is nothing more than the unimaginable size of the nostrils it is located just at the eye level.

When the animal is calm the folds hang down simply and at ease. But when the male is angry, the nasal holes are overlapped and this crest is filled with air from the lung department. Moreover, the male is able to inflate him at his own whim for fun and training.


Khokhlachi is a completely peculiar type of seals. It is representatives of this species that are the owners of the largest nostrils in the family. Khokhlachi has a short skull, decorated in a wide muzzle. The third part of the entire nasal bone goes beyond the boundaries of the upper jaw, and the sky appears from behind much further than other parts of the body. His teeth are unique the crest is equipped with two upper incisors and one lower, and the common dentition is rather narrow.

Khokhlach still received the nickname of a blue seal-after all, his young animals are equipped with a very interesting fur coat: silver from the dorsal side and pale blue under the abdomen.


In adult crests, blue-gray fur with dark spots with a black face scattered over the body. In these animals, sexual dimorphism is expressed males of this species reach a length of up to three meters, and the females are slightly less 2.2 meters. Moreover, males are an order of magnitude larger they weigh up to 300 kilograms, while females are almost half. Of course, males can also be distinguished by the skin-nosom bag on the front of the head.

This bag is absent in males under the age of four-but then the males are happy to play, puffing this bright red bag from the nostrils to attract females or in case of aggression.

Where it lives

Khokhlachi are usually found in the northern latitudes along the eastern coast of America, in the northern part of the Atlantic.  You can find them at the western tip of Europe just along the coast of Scandinavia. Their habitat also affects Iceland and part of Greenland and sometimes (although extremely rare) they can be found in Siberia. Khokhlachi multiply on the ice-and distinguish several main familiar areas of propagation: the bay of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, the center of the Davis Strait and Grendandy (near the island of Yan-Maine).

What eats

Khokhlachi, like any seals, prefer to eat a variety of sea booty and, above all, this is fish: herring, cod, flounder and other species. They do not neglect other marine inhabitants shrimp and octopuses, squid (they prefer this type of food in winter, switching to fish in the summer). At first, young seals learn to hunt shallow water and basically it is squid and other crustaceans.

During a period of flowering of phytoplankton and other Arctic algae that eat fish and other herbivores, their energy (we are talking about fatty acids) also passes to seals, where it remains in adipose tissue and is actively involved in the metabolism of representatives of this species.

Natural enemies

Naturally, such a huge animal has practically no natural enemies in nature and the most important reason for their extermination have always been people. It is people who have been hunting for more than one and a half centuries for these talus on a huge scale for forty years (from 1820 to 1860), more than half a million seals were destroyed. At first, the reason for this extermination was oil and tourying fat, and after that, starting from the middle of the twentieth century, they opened a hunt for beautiful fur it was four times more expensive than other seals.

Among the natural enemies of Khokhlach can be called sharks, killer whales and white bears. The goal of hunting white bears usually acts smaller Greenland and other types of seals, but during the period of propagation of seals, bears do not neglect an excellent opportunity to profit from the crests.

Scientists even suggest that the size of the population of these seals will be reduced in a rigid progression of about 4% per year thus, for three generations, the reduction will be up to 75%. And even if the reduction is reduced to 1%, then through three generations it will be 32% and such indicators allow you to qualify this species as a vulnerable. After the Second World War, scientists were afraid of threats of the disappearance of this species from the face of the earth.

Naturally, recently, unprecedented measures to preserve seals, which include international pacts, plans, quotas for catch and many other ways that have been more than hundred years (by conducting a countdown since 1870). The places of molting and reproduction of the crest (starting in 1961) are protected and many different quotas and restrictions are established. This type of seal is entered in the Red Book and hunting for it has been banned for more than 50 years.

Interesting Facts

Khokhlachi seals are single animals-they completely lack competition both for the territory and in terms of social hierarchy. Khokhlachi, like many other seals, are a migrating look and, interestingly, every year they clearly follow the adopted movement scheme, which completely repeats the route of driving pack ice, which allows the seal to keep close to it. So, in the summer, Khokhlachi move on the coast of Greenland-on its southeastern coast and a point in the northeast.  And after seasonal molting, animals scatter and already more calmly drift north and south of the Atlantic for the entire autumn and winter period, gathering again in the spring at a single point.

These animals also have one interesting feature when immersed in cold waters, Khokhlachi are not susceptible to hypothermia this is due to the fact that the trembling process can significantly increase the need for oxygen, which means to reduce the possible time in water. On land, trembling from the cold takes place but it instantly stops or significantly slows down at the time of immersion in the water.

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