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5 Amazing Baby Seal Facts

#1: Baby Seals are Called Pups!

A baby seal is called a pup! Seals’ lives are generally broken into four different cycles. Baby seals are called pups and are considered to be pups from birth until they’re weaned at around 1 year old.

The next stage of their lives is the young seal age. The young seal is now on their own to learn to swim and how to catch food to survive. Many young seals lose around half their body weight while they’re in the process of learning how to hunt for themselves.

Next is the juvenile seal stage. At this stage the seal learns to catch food and swim. All that remains is to gain weight again to survive the cold, harsh winter.

The final stage of the cycle is the adult seal. A harbor seal is considered mature when she is 6 years old and lives for about 30 years depending on whether she is male or female.

Seals share the “pup” name with many other animals, such as dogs, sloths, beavers, and bats.

#2: Seal Pups Have A Special Call With Their Mom

Baby seals share a special bond with their mothers. When a seal pup calls out for its mom, not only will she quickly come to the rescue, but she can also tell the baby crying is hers.

Researchers noted that seal mothers can recognize their pups and distinguish their cries from other pups. What’s more – the mothers continued to recognize their babies’ calls for up to five years of separation. Talk about an unbreakable bond!

#3: Seals Learn To Become Pro Swimmers

When baby seals are born, they can barely swim, if at all, and they are completely dependent on their mother’s milk for nourishment. By the time they’re adults, they are expert swimmers because they spend months at a time at sea.

Seal pups are so comfortable in the water, they can even sleep in it! However, their naps are short, since they can only hold their breath underwater for about two hours.

#4: Seal Pups Have Extremely Protective Fat

Baby seals bulk up on weight from the moment they’re born. This is because once a seal pup is weaned, its mother sets out to mate again. Consequently, the baby seals are left to fend for themselves.

However, the tiny mammals are not completely helpless. From a young age, the babies pack on a thick layer of fat, called blubber. There’s no doubt that food can be scarce for young seals, especially while they’re learning to hunt. Luckily, the blubber provides a source of energy and calories for the growing pups when no food is available. .

#5: Baby Seals Are Hunted For Their Fur

For many years, seals have been hunted by humans for their fur and for the many uses their blubber contains. Most baby seals are born with a yellow coat of fur. Their first is yellow due to the amniotic fluid they were surrounded in during their 11 month gestation period.

After a day or two earthside, their fur loses its yellow tint and reveals a bright white coat. This is where seal pups get their nickname, whitecoats. The hunting of whitecoats specifically has been banned in Canada since 1987 but this ban is only for whitecoats, not the other young seals that can be found living there.

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