The Galapagos Dumber Seal

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Seals spend much of their life in the water. Some seals can spend a great amount of time under water and swim great distances to find food. Seals have homes all over the world; they like to live in temperate and polar areas of the world. They are carnivores that have canine teeth, but their molars are modified to swallow their prey whole. “The Galapagos fur seals are one of 16 species of marine mammals” (www.eoearth.org) in the eared seal family that includes sea lions. The semi-aquatic family is known as pinnipeds, or fin-footed can live on both land and in water. These seals are the smallest of the pinnipeds. Otariidae also known as eared seals, are different form other seals, because they have small external earflaps and back flippers…show more content…
El Niño’s have been occurring for about 10,000 years since the last Ice Age. When an El Niño occurs it decreases the rise of cold water off the coast of the Americas. “When this happens the fish either die or migrate into areas that they will find more to eat” (wildlife.ca.gov). When this happens in the in the Pacific close to the Ecuador the Galapagos fur seals struggle to find food. When the fish are gone the wildlife that depend on them for food will die also. In the summers the temperature of the water increases and causes a decrease in the amount of food. The warmer waters disturb the normal flow of the nutrients from the cooler water depths. “An El Niño will occur approximately every two to seven years” (wildlife.ca.gov). The effects of an El Niño can be sensed all over the globe for over a year. The last El Niño to have occurred was in the summers of 1997-98 and it resulted in a colossal decrease of young fur seals. The reason for the loss of the young seals is, that the adult seals will eat before the young ones due to the small amount of food and starvation usually has the biggest impact in the loss of the young seals. As long as the El Niño keeps occurring the population of the Galapagos fur seals will most likely continue to…show more content…
The adult males can be a long as 1.5m long and weigh 64kg. The females are generally smaller than the males measuring about 1.2m and weighing about 22-34kg. Galapagos fur seals normally live in colonies. “The Galapagos fur seal breeds on the Galapagos Islands in the eastern Pacific, making it the only fur seal to breed in tropical waters” (animalcorner.co.uk). Mating season for these seals are in mid August to mid November. These seals are polygynous mammals, which means that a male will mate with six to sixteen females in its territory. The females will separate themselves from the colony and claim a separate territory on the rocky shores during mating season. At this time the females will give birth to her pups. In as little as eight days after giving birth the female will mate again. “Galapagos fur seals have the lowest reproduction rate reported in seals” (en.wikipedia.org). The female seals can bear only one pup at a time and mamma seal stays with the newborn for about a week before leaving it to eat. When a pup is born it has a smooth and silky skin and its fur will start to develop about the age of six months. A pup will rely on the mother’s milk for eighteen months and may not begin the weaning process until the pup is two or three years of age, depending on the conditions. Pups will start to swim a little after a few months of being born and start to independently

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