Antarctic Seal:Smelly Cuteness saved from extinction

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Photo of Antarctic Seal:Smelly Cuteness saved from extinction 1/182 by Shridhar Sethuram Iyer
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​While seals do not smell as cute as they look, you can spend ages snapping them in Antarctica. Most expeditioners end up having 1000+ snaps on their cameras and you don’t have the heart to delete any one of them.

Antarctic seals are truly fascinating signature species of the Southern Ocean.​ Only 6 of the 35 species of seals​ ​live in Antarctica: Fur Seals, Crab-eater Seals, Leopard Seals, Ross Seals, ​& Weddell Seals. However, th​ese make up the majority of the world's seal population. Fur seals are the smallest, with adult females weighing only 150 kg, while male elephant seals can weigh 4000 kg.. All the Antarctic seals are true seals (no ears] and ​theorize​d ​to ​ use a type of sonar to locate food In addition​, seals are believed to use their whiskers as a form of radar. The whiskers detect movement in the water and allow the seal to zoom in a particular object. Thus, seals can actually find food in complete darkness better than in the light.

As for their eyes, seals don't really see color but they are particularly sensitive to common sea water colors (greens, green-blues). Seals eyes have a silvery lining behind the retina. When in the water, a seal's nose closes automatically and doesn't reopen until it surface. Typically, a seal can remain underwater for 15 minutes (young) to 30 minutes (adults). This also is true of when they're sleep. Seals sleep just under the surface of the ocean and can resurface for air without waking.

Seals were the first Antarctic species to be commercially harvested. In fact, it was the search for new populations of seals that led to much of the early exploration of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. During the 19th and 20th centuries, several species of seals were heavily exploited for their skins or fur and for oil. Whole populations were decimated as early as the 1820's and some, including the Antarctic Fur Seal, were driven to the brink of extinction. Today, seals in the Antarctic are protected by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, which nonetheless allows for a small quota of specific species to be taken for science.​While seals do not smell as cute as they look, you can spend ages snapping them in Antarctica. Most expeditioners end up having 1000+ snaps on their cameras and you don’t have the heart to delete any one of them.

Antarctic seals are truly fascinating signature species of the Southern Ocean.​ Only 6 of the 35 species of seals​ ​live in Antarctica: Fur Seals, Crab-eater Seals, Leopard Seals, Ross Seals, ​& Weddell Seals. However, th​ese make up the majority of the world's seal population. Fur seals are the smallest, with adult females weighing only 150 kg, while male elephant seals can weigh 4000 kg.. All the Antarctic seals are true seals (no ears] and ​theorize​d ​to ​ use a type of sonar to locate food In addition​, seals are believed to use their whiskers as a form of radar. The whiskers detect movement in the water and allow the seal to zoom in a particular object. Thus, seals can actually find food in complete darkness better than in the light.

As for their eyes, seals don't really see color but they are particularly sensitive to common sea water colors (greens, green-blues). Seals eyes have a silvery lining behind the retina. When in the water, a seal's nose closes automatically and doesn't reopen until it surface. Typically, a seal can remain underwater for 15 minutes (young) to 30 minutes (adults). This also is true of when they're sleep. Seals sleep just under the surface of the ocean and can resurface for air without waking.

Seals were the first Antarctic species to be commercially harvested. In fact, it was the search for new populations of seals that led to much of the early exploration of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. During the 19th and 20th centuries, several species of seals were heavily exploited for their skins or fur and for oil. Whole populations were decimated as early as the 1820's and some, including the Antarctic Fur Seal, were driven to the brink of extinction. Today, seals in the Antarctic are protected by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, which nonetheless allows for a small quota of specific species to be taken for science.​While seals do not smell as cute as they look, you can spend ages snapping them in Antarctica. Most expeditioners end up having 1000+ snaps on their cameras and you don’t have the heart to delete any one of them.

Antarctic seals are truly fascinating signature species of the Southern Ocean.​ Only 6 of the 35 species of seals​ ​live in Antarctica: Fur Seals, Crab-eater Seals, Leopard Seals, Ross Seals, ​& Weddell Seals. However, th​ese make up the majority of the world's seal population. Fur seals are the smallest, with adult females weighing only 150 kg, while male elephant seals can weigh 4000 kg.. All the Antarctic seals are true seals (no ears] and ​theorize​d ​to ​ use a type of sonar to locate food In addition​, seals are believed to use their whiskers as a form of radar. The whiskers detect movement in the water and allow the seal to zoom in a particular object. Thus, seals can actually find food in complete darkness better than in the light.

As for their eyes, seals don't really see color but they are particularly sensitive to common sea water colors (greens, green-blues). Seals eyes have a silvery lining behind the retina. When in the water, a seal's nose closes automatically and doesn't reopen until it surface. Typically, a seal can remain underwater for 15 minutes (young) to 30 minutes (adults). This also is true of when they're sleep. Seals sleep just under the surface of the ocean and can resurface for air without waking.

Seals were the first Antarctic species to be commercially harvested. In fact, it was the search for new populations of seals that led to much of the early exploration of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. During the 19th and 20th centuries, several species of seals were heavily exploited for their skins or fur and for oil. Whole populations were decimated as early as the 1820's and some, including the Antarctic Fur Seal, were driven to the brink of extinction. Today, seals in the Antarctic are protected by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, which nonetheless allows for a small quota of specific species to be taken for science.