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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fur Seal

Beauty Of Animal | Fur Seal | Fur seals are one of the nine species of pinnipeds Otariidae family. One species, the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) lives in the North Pacific, while seven species in the Arctocephalus genus are found mainly in the southern hemisphere. They are more akin to sea lions than true seals, and with them auricle (atria), relatively long and muscular foreflippers, and the ability to walk on all fours. They are characterized by their close undercoat, which makes them for a long time for commercial game.

Until recently, fur seals all grouped in a subfamily of pinnipeds called Arctocephalinae in order to compare them with Otariinae - the sea lions - based on the most prominent common feature, namely the coat guard hairs mixed with dense undercoat. Recent genetic research suggests Callorhinus is closely related to some sea lion species, and the fur seal / sealion subfamily distinction has disappeared from many taxonomies. But all the fur seals have certain characteristics in common: The coat is generally smaller size, more and longer foraging trips, smaller and more abundant prey and more sexual dimorfi. For these reasons, the distinction remains useful.

Fur seals with other otariids the ability to make their hind legs and head on hands and feet. Fur seals are generally smaller than sea lions. In less than 1 meter (3 feet 3 inches), the seal coat is Galapagos the smallest of all Pinnipeds. However, their flippers are generally relatively long, their fur is often darker and vibrissae more prominent. Males are often more than five times heavier than females, making them among the most sexually dimorphic of all mammal groups.

Typically, fur seals gather during the summer months each year in large collections on specific beaches or rocks to feed and breed. All species are polygynous, meaning dominant males reproduce with more than one wife. For most species lasts a total gestation period of 11.5 months, including a number of months delayed implantation of the embryo. While northern fur seal males aggressively select and defend the special women in their harem, males of species of southern fur seals tend to spatial areas to protect, and women can freely choose whether to change their partners based on their personal preferences or social hierarchy . After several consecutive days to take care of the newborn pups, the women go on longer foraging trips, which can be as long as a week, returning to the colony to feed their young until they are weaned. Males rapidly during the reproductive season, be prepared to leave their wives or areas.

The rest of the year, fur belts a primary pelagic existence in the open sea where prey is abundant and plentiful. Fur seals are eating sized fish, squid and krill. Several species of southern fur seals also seabirds, especially penguins, as part of their diet. The fur seals themselves are attacked by sharks, killer whales and the occasional large sea lions. The fur seals were hunted in the late 18 and early 19th century, they took on remote islands where there are no predators. Prisoners reported being able to club the unwary animals killed one after another, making the search for profits, even if the price per seal-skin layer was

Many fur seal species were heavily exploited by commercial hunters, especially in the 19th century when their fur was highly prized. Beginning in the 1790s, the ports of Stonington and New Haven, Connecticut were leaders of the American fur seal trade, which mainly involves going fur seals to death on uninhabited South Pacific islands, skinning them and selling the hides in China. Many people, especially Guadalupe fur seal, northern fur seal and Cape fur seal, suffered a dramatic decline and is still recovering. Currently, most species are protected and hunting is usually limited to subsistence harvest. Worldwide, most stocks are considered as healthy, especially because they often prefer remote habitats that are relatively inaccessible to humans. However, environmental degradation, competition with fisheries and climate change potentially pose threats to some populations.

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