Monday, November 28, 2011

Life of Harbor Seal

 
Life of Sea | Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) | The Harbor seal as a True seal is also known as the common seal. They are found in coastal waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as those of the Baltic and North Sea, making them the most widespread of the pinnipeds (walruses, eared seals and true seals). They can usually be seen inhabit shallow areas where the sandbanks, rocks and beaches are found at low tide, or otherwise easily accessible. Since seals do not migrate, they are present in many areas throughout the year and location, while loyalty is displayed, Harbor seals are also capable of long distance movements. Some short movements can be associated with seasonal availability of prey and breeding.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Carnivora
Suborder:     Pinnipedia
Family:     Phocidae
Genus:     Phoca
Species:     P. vitulina

Each individual who a unique pattern of fine, dark spots (or light spots on a dark background in a number of variants), they range in color from brownish black to brown or gray, belly are generally lighter. The body and fins are short, with a relatively large, round head. The nostrils seem distinctive V-shaped, as with other true seals, there is no ear flap. A relatively large (for a seal) ear canal may be visible behind the eye.

Harbor seals' eyes are prominent and adapted for the shades of black and white. Colour vision is not necessary and it is probably bad to nonexistent. Compared with humans, they have superior underwater vision is even better, on inferior land. To protect the eyes while out of water, mucus continually washes over them. Since pinnipeds lack a duct for draining eye fluids into the nasal passages, these fluids dripping out of the eye and give the seals their characteristic wet spots around the eyes. Good vision does not seem to be essential to Harbor seal survival, scientists have found blind but otherwise healthy individuals, including mothers with pups, at sea.

Harbor seals, like all true seals, lack an external ear flap, but an external ears, or the opening of the ear with a sharp ear to them, respond to underwater sounds. A harbor seal uses sensitive vibrissae to detect vibrations. It lits the vibrissae in a dramatic move on their mobile upper lip in and out. When vibrations are observed, a significant nervous system controls the vibrissae are tactile information to the brains.

Harbor seals are probably the least vocal of all pinnipeds. In the air, they snort, blow, growling, or sneezing - often as a threat to another seal. Harbor seals vocalize mostly underwater. Pups vocalize more frequently than adults, especially their mothers. Pups' sheep-like cries are individually distinguished by their mothers. Older men vocalize underwater as part of a display during the breeding season. Unlike most pinnipeds, adult seals are usually solitary and rarely contact other than to mate. But they often pull the loosely organized groups. These groups, both sexes and all ages. Harbor seals generally do not touch each other when pulled out. They maintain a space between them of one meter (meters) or more. If touched by another common seal, they respond with growling, snorting, flipper-waving, head-pressing, scratching or biting.

Harbor seals are opportunistic feeders, consuming mainly benthic and schooling prey. Common prey species, herring, flounder, and perch. They will also octopus, squid and shrimp. A Harbor seal's diet varies seasonally and regionally, and often depends on local prey availability. Harbour seals generally obtain the water they need from their food. If food intake is reduced, the metabolic breakdown of fat produces water. Dehydration usually follows illness or injury.

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