In this article I’ll be displaying some important harp seal facts for kids including harp seal’s distribution, reproduction and species. The harp seal is a species of earless seal and is also called saddleback seal. These animals are the inhabitants of Atlantic Ocean and some parts of the Arctic Ocean. It is associated with the genus Pagophilus. Harp seals are known to spend most of their time in Ocean as compared to the land. They are considered to be the sociable animals but harp seals are too noisy to be kept as pets. They tend to spend large amount of time in colonies. The maximum lifespan of harp seals is 30 years in the wild. The pups’ voices are like ‘bawling’ or ‘mumble’ which they usually produce in order to call their mothers while playing. They are the strong migratory animals with most of the migration takes place towards northeast covering 4,000 km (2,500 miles), with some species travels 4,640 km (2,880 miles) east northeast. They are not generally known as vagabonds.
Fascinating Harp Seal Facts For Kids
- The harp seal exhibits silvery-grey body together with the black face.
- They have real black eyes.
- On the back of harp seal, there is wishbone-shaped spotting.
- The juveniles reflect yellow coat at the very first day of their birth while it turns into white as it grows. Normally the color changes in 10 – 12 days.
- A fully grown harp seal measures around 1.7 – 2.0 meters (5 – 6 feet).
- The weight of the harp seal is 140 – 190 kg (300 – 400 pounds).
- The metabolic rate of harp seals does not rise due to the fact that they unite behavioral and anatomical approaches which manage body temperatures.
- They have flippers that operate as heat exchangers and they tend to warm or cool down the blood as per requirements.
- They have large eyes which is embedded with a greater spherical lens thereby enhances its concentrating ability.
Reproduction | Harp Seal Facts
- Females become mature at the age of 5 to 6. They give birth to one pup each year which occurs in late February.
- The weight of the harp seals pups measure around 11 kg (24 lb), with the length measuring at 80 – 85 cm (31 – 33 inches).
- The nursing period lasts for about 12 days. During this time the mother does not eat anything and is known to lose weight of 3 kg (7 lb) each day.
- Harp seal embraces 48% fat therefore, pups can gain weight of 2.2 kg (4.9 lb) each day.
- These pups will not swim until 7 – 8 weeks or when the ice melts. This allows potential predators like polar bears to take on these pups. According to an estimate, around 30% of the pups die during their foremost year. The pups-molting starts after 1 year.
- The average lifespan of these animals is 20 years.
Where Do Harp Seals Live
The largest concentrations of harp seals inhabits in the Eastern Canada. The breeding populations are known to reside in the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland. Some of these species are also found in Magdalen Islands and the East Ice of White Sea. The breeding takes place in the months of February and April.
Harp Seal Species
- Pagophilus groenlandicus groenlandicus –
- Pagophilus groenlandicus oceanicus
Harp Seal Facts For Kids | Video