3 Harp Seal Facts For Kids
There are all kinds of animals that you most likely not had the chance to see up-close. Harp seals are a very distinct animal that spends a lot of time diving and swimming in icy waters. They have an appearance that is hard to mistake and live in climates that most people can’t withstand.
Here is some fascinating information about harp seals:
1. Where Do They Live?
If you are looking to spot a harp seal, you might have to travel far from home. Most harp seals live in the icy waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. They mostly swim and dive in these waters, but they are known to be excellent swimmers. When they are looking for food, harp seals normally hunt for fish and crustaceans. They often find their prey at about 300 feet below sea level, but they have the ability to dive more than 1,000 feet dep. Harp seals are such great swimmers due to their ability to stay underwater for long periods of time. Most harp seals can be under water for more than 15 minutes without coming to land.
2. Mating Season and Harp Seal Pups
Mating season for harp seals is known as the time when female harp seals find home on ice. They form their own floating colonies on ice and stay there to birth their young. As harp seals grow older they lose layers of their skin. It is the top layers that fall off and a new fur coat replaces it every year. Harp seal mothers have the ability to tell their young apart from others based on scent. When harp seals are born they do not have any blubber, but it does not take long for them to gain fat. This is due to the intake of high-fat milk from their mother’s. Harp seal pups traditionally nurse until they reach about 80 pounds.
3. How Do Harp Seals Look?
The distinct look of harp seals makes them pretty easy to spot. They are identified by the dark markings that are present on their backs and sides. These dark markings contrast with the light yellow fur that harp seals have. As they age this light fur turns grey, but the dark markings are still noticeable. In many cases, these markings are referred to as saddle like markings. They are even called saddleback seals in some instances.