Weddell Seal

Weddel SealThe Weddell Seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) could be found scattered all over the Antartic but also on (at least) 15 islands nearby. They are arctic region dwellers, both on fast ice and on sea, migrating is something they do not do, and being shifted from one place to another are caused by ice conditions/movements. Swimming underwater happens when the ice areas are thin so that the Weddell Seal could punch holes (by their teeth that is). From November up to the Yuletide season, the females become pregnant.

They give birth on sea ice. Weddell Seal newborns weigh around 30 kg upon birth, but that is on the average. Six weeks of age is the time for weaning, and here is one trivia for you. The male Weddell Seal do not usually mate until six to seven years old. This particular seal navigates in slow motion (humping motion that is) both on ground and on ice. This you do not (chances are): the Weddell Seal could swim at a clip of 5 to 7 knots. The depths they can reach could go up to 600 meters, and it could remain submerged for 60 minutes. They also eat underwater.

Weddell Seals are are killed for dog-food purposes that have seal as an ingredient. One last thing, in case you are wondering about the name, they were named after James Weddell, the top man of a sealing expedition.

The Weddell seal is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the Weddell seal
A young / baby of a Weddell seal is called a 'pup'. The females are called 'cow' and males 'bull'. A Weddell seal group is called a 'pod, colony, crash, flock, harem, bob, herd, rookery, team or hurd'.
Some facts about the
Weddell seal

Adult weight : 425 kg (935 lbs)

Female maturity :1365 days

Male maturity : 1642 days

Gestation : 304 days

Weaning : 40 days

Litter size : 1

Interval between litters : 548 days

Weight at birth : 29 kg (63.8 lbs)

Weight at weaning : 115.9 kg (254.98 lbs)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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