- They have a thick layer of fat called blubber under their skin to keep them warm in icy water.
- Elephant seals can hold their breath for up to two hours while diving for food.
- They are part of the pinniped order of marine mammals.
Welcome to the Seal Quiz, where you can test your knowledge and learn more about one of the most graceful swimming mammals. These pinnipeds are known not only for their excellent swimming skills but for their ability to hold their breath for large amounts of time while underwater – elephant seals can hold their breath for up to two hours!
Take the quiz to test your knowledge of Seals if you believe you know everything there is to know about them or if you simply want to learn more about these fascinating earless animals!
Types Of Seals
There are around 32 different types of these mammals. These pinnipeds belong to the group Pinnipedia which is comprised of three main groups – the walrus (Odobenidae), which is the only living member of its group, eared seals (Otariidae), which include types of sea lions and furred seals, and finally the true seals, known as the earless seals, (Phocidae). Although they are called earless, these mammals do, in fact, have ears – they are holes that lack an external flap. A few of these true, earless pinnipeds are:
- Mediterranean Monk (Monachus monachus)
- Hawaiian Monk (Neomonachus schauinslandi)
- Leopard (Hydrurga leptonyx)
- Crabeater (Lobodon carcinophaga)
- Northern Elephant (Mirounga angustirostris)
- Southern Elephant (Mirounga leonina)
- Harbor (Phoca vitulina)
- Spotted (Phoca largha)
- Weddell (Leptonychotes weddellii)
- Harp (Pagophilus groenlandicus)
While all pinniped species are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), there are certain species that are endangered. The Hawaiian monk seal has been listed as an endangered species since 1976 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and Hawai’i state law. The Mediterranean monk seal is also listed as endangered and has numbers that hover around 700.
Unlike their sea lion cousins, true seals do not have ear flaps but have ear holes instead. They also have small flippers, and wriggle on their bellies on land. Although they can be found throughout the world in marine environments, they do prefer colder temperatures and are even found in freshwater. Keep reading to find out more interesting facts.
- They prefer sea water that is cold.
- The smallest pinniped species is the Galapagos Fur Seal which weighs 99 pounds.
- The largest is the Southern Elephant Seal which weighs over 8,000 pounds!
- Elephant seals take short naps while diving deep below the ocean’s surface.
- The pinnipeds that live in the wild average just 2 hours of sleep per day when at sea.
- Mothers and babies recognize each other through a familiar call, even after a lengthy separation.