What is the baby seal called?
Belka, as well as Zelentsi, Khokhlush and Serkami are called the calves of the harp and long-sealed seals, ringed and Caspian seals. In the article we will provide brief information about these animals, show photos of young seals and tell you exactly how they are called in different phases of maturation.
Seals are predator mammals that belong to the pinniped group and live in the coastal waters of the seas located mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. But this is general information. In fact, only harp seals and some species of ringed seals live in the arctic expanses. But long-sided seals can be found in Canada and the British Isles, and ringed seal - in the Baltic and Lake Ladoga. There is also the Caspian seal - where this species lives, it is clear from the name.
The seal specimen is quite massive. The weight of even the smallest representative of an adult seal ranges from 95 kg (in the ringed seal) to an incredible 3 tons (in the elephant seal, the largest among seals).The elongated, fusiform body of an animal may have a brownish-red or gray color. Its length, depending on the type - from one and a half to six meters.
The seals have a small head with a slightly elongated muzzle, an inactive neck and a massive, but short tail. The front legs are lagging behind the hind legs. The so-called real seals, which are referred to here, unlike eared ones, do not have an auricle. They live from twenty years (males) to thirty-five (females).
How and where do the seals bring their offspring?
All these animals are united by one thing - they need large ice floes with access to clear water to continue the race so that the female can hunt without leaving the baby for a long time. That is why for breeding, seals from the northern regions usually migrate to the south. And, for example, the Caspian nerpa is looking for freezing waters in the north of the Caspian. Having taken out and having grown offspring, seals come back to deep-water areas.
The little ones appear on the so-called “baby hauls” - huge many-kilometer ice floes, in which the colonies of the described mammals number tens of thousands of individuals. They harbor juvenile cubs for 11 and a half months.And most of the newborns appear between late February and early March.
By the way, the pups of the harp seal, or lysuna, appeared in the multitude in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but now, due to global warming, the ice of the gulf is becoming thinner. And, as a result, the seals are forced to look for other places of the haul.
To the light, a female seal or seal is born, as a rule, one puppy (belek). He is completely physically formed and has normal vision. However, he is still not able to independently obtain food and defend himself against natural enemies. Therefore, at first, females try to hide their helpless baby seal in snow holes.
Zelentsy, Belka, Khokhlushi and Serki
The newborn baby seal is called greenfinch, because white fur acquires a greenish tint from its long-term exposure to amniotic fluid in the womb. This baby weighs from 8 to 10 kg, the size of the body can reach 95 cm.
The coat of whitecoat, which already becomes completely white a few days after birth, seems to be fluffy and airy like that of polar bears, but this impression is deceptive. She's pretty tough.Each hair of the fur inside is empty and filled only with air. The skin itself under the black fur is at least to some extent attracts the mean heat of the northern sun and protects the kids from the cold, because they still do not have a fat layer on the body. The constant trembling contributes to the regulation of heat in the body.
A couple of weeks after the birth, the seal puppy, the belek, enters the phase of its first molt. Its fur (albeit only for a week) takes on an untidy, disheveled look with appearing silver-grayish spots. Now it is called khkhlushy. But by the month of life the fur seal undergoes changes again. Now he, approaching in color to adult seals, becomes gray. The fur of a serbian is already much darker than that of whitecoats, black and dark gray spots appear on the whole body. And the wool becomes harder and shorter.
Why is the white belek
A newborn baby seal and seal before the first molt has white fur with a slightly yellowish tinge. Belki can climb into the water and swim only after the first molt, when their fur turns gray. White fur in water instantly gets wet. Therefore, their first few weeks of life, Belka is forced to dwell among ice and snow, trying to be as less visible as possible to the eyes of such dangerous predators as walruses and polar bears.Well, man, of course.
What eats white
The protein feeds on the mother’s fat milk, and thanks to this food, it gains 2-3 kg of weight per day. Cubs eat a lot and after a few hours after feeding, they begin to squeak again, making it clear to the female that they are hungry. If there is no one nearby, the pup begins to crawl on the ice, trying to find it. Sometimes they get to another female. But these animals have an excellent sense of smell - and no seals will feed the young calf. But my mother, after returning from the hunt and not finding his whiteness on the spot, will quickly find him, having buried his nose in the snow and set off on the trail.
After a fixed time, the female ceases to feed the cub, and it starts shedding, gradually becoming gray. During this time, he has been eating nothing for three weeks, or even for three weeks, hiding in ice holes and consuming the reserves of fat that he managed to accumulate after birth, being whitewash. But the little sulfur can already dive and hunt, catching small crustaceans and other prey.
How to behave near the seal and its cubs
Baby seals are one of the most charming and unusual representatives of the fauna of the planet. The whites have snow-white skin and huge eyes, and even constantly moisturized due to habitat features. So it seems that the little seals are crying.
Curious tourists should bear in mind that one cannot stand between the seal and its young. With the loss of visual contact with their offspring, some, especially young, females become aggressive and ready to protect him, by all means. They can throw at the fit, and this is not less than a centner of live weight with sharp teeth and strong claws.
You can calmly consider the baby if his mother went hunting. The squirrels are curious and cannot scratch or bite anyone yet. When meeting with strangers, they are likely to either try to escape, moving awkwardly, or, on the contrary, crawling towards you to sniff. True, realizing that they are not their mother, the baby seal will quickly lose interest to the stranger.
Belka can be stroked - he will calmly transfer this procedure, some of them even turn over so that their tummy is scratched. But here, too, it is desirable to follow simple rules. You can not iron a baby seal with his bare hands - because he lives in the snow, the hand of a man is too hot for a baby and can cause him stress. When tactile contact with the seals, it is advisable to wear gloves.Specialists-zoologists also do not recommend to take belkov in their hands. Small seals are so shy that they usually burp the contents of their stomach into tourist clothes.
Hunting seal cubs is prohibited. Unfortunately, as soon as the squirrel turns into a crayfish, the animal can already be killed by a hunter. In Canada, for example, the government allocates hunting quotas for thousands of seals.