When you think of a seal, you might think of the animals that perform tricks at water amusement parks, but these animals are usually sea lions, not seals. Sea lions have large front flippers which help them get around on land, while seals are slow and awkward. Seals are definitely made for swimming!
There are more than 30 species of seals living in many parts of the world. Seals eat fish, birds and shellfish and most of them live in cold water where fish are plentiful. The Caspian seal is one of the world’s smallest seal, weighing as much as an adult woman (110 to 190 pounds). Elephant seals, the world’s largest seal, measure 20 feet long and can weigh as much as 8,800 pounds!
Fun Facts about Seals for Kids
- Some seals migrate hundreds of miles every year in search of food.
- Seals can dive to great depths underwater and stay there for up to two hours.
- Seals use clicking or trilling noises to communicate.
- Male seals are called bulls; females are called cows; babies are called pups.
- Seals have a thick layer of fat called blubber under their skin to keep them warm in icy water. They are warm blooded.
- Elephant seals are the largest of the seal species. There are 2 different types of elephant seals: Northern and Southern.
- Seals can live 30 years or more. Females tend to live longer than males.
- Great white sharks, Orca Whales and Polar Bears are all predators to seals.
- All seals belong to to mammal group called Pinnipeds, which means “wing footed”.
- The leopard seal has been known to feed on other seals.
- Milk from mother seals contains 50% fat.
- The closest living relative to seals on land is believed to dogs and bears.
- Unfortunately seals often get caught up in fishing nets, pollution of our ocean from plastics and chemical waste also pose a massive threat.
- Global seal population is unknown but it is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.
- Flipper: hand designed for swimming
- Shellfish: clams, mussels and other fish with hard shells
- Migrate: travel
- Trill: whistle
- Blubber: fat
Learn More All About Seals
Take a peek at this stunning video of seals:
A video documentary of seals defending their territory.
Question: Do seals live on land?
Answer: Seals come on land to rest, mate and take care of new babies.
Question: Do mother seals give birth alone?
Answer: Most seal mothers gather together to give birth on beaches. Mom uses her sense of smell to find her baby in the hundreds of other babies on the beach.