Harp Seal

AnimalHarp Seal
Scientific NamePagophilus groenlandicus
Lifespan20 years
Size1.6 m – 1.9 m
Weight181.4 km
Conservation statusLeast concern

Harp seals, also known as saddleback seals, are usually found in the Arctic Waters. They mostly spend time swimming and not on land. They can dive almost 300 meters, where they hunt fish to eat. They can stay underwater for 15 minutes.

In mating season, female harp seals create large colonies on floating ice and then give birth. Older seals come back every year in order to molt. They lose their top skin layer and pelts. They grow a new fur coat annually.

The harp seal’s mother figures out who their baby is by smell. The newborn seals have no blubber, although gain weight feeding on high-fat milk produced by its mother. Once the baby hits 36 kilograms, the mother stops feeding the baby and the seal loses half of its weight within 6 weeks. They eventually begin hunting and diving for themselves.

When seals are first born, they have yellow fur and are called ‘yellowcoats’. Once three days pass, the fur gets bleached and the yellow fur turns white. These are known as ‘whitecoats’.

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