Harp Seals

Characteristics

According to Peter Saundry, the author of “Encyclopedia of Life: Harp Seals,” “Harp seals can grow up to 2 meters in length and 160kg in body mass, with females being slightly smaller in size than males.” Harp seals are very large compared to many fish. Male and females for the most part look the same, but the females are a little lighter colored and their “harp” shapes are less noticeable (Saundry). Because females are lighter in color than males, it is easier for them to blend in to stay safe. The color of seals change with age (Saundry). As the seals get older their colors fade.
Big image
This is a male harp seal.

LIfe Cycle

Seals are born in the spring on ice packs, and the pups go through six stages of life (Harpseals.org). The first stage is “Yellowjacket,” and they are the newborn seals, and these seals have a yellow tint to their hair. For humans, this stage would be a new born. The second stage is “Whitecoat,” and they are then a few days old, and the yellow tint has disappeared (Harpseals.org). For humans, the baby would be a few days to a couple weeks old. The third stage is “Ragged Jacket,” this is when they are about two weeks old, they are weaned, and their fur starts to change to a silver-gray color with black spots (Harpseals.org). For humans, this stage would differ because some people nurse babies longer than others. The fourth stage is “Beater,” at this stage, their skin is fully moulted, and they also start to learn how to swim (Harpseals.org). This stage would me more like a few months for humans. The fifth stage is “Bedlamer,” this stage is the one between “Beater” and “Adult,” and these seals are still immature (Harpseals.org). For a human, this person would be in their teenage years. According to Harpseals.org, “the final stage is “Adult” males reach maturity at about 7-8 years of age while females reach maturity at about 4-6 years of age.” Compared to humans, that is a very young age.
Big image
This is a the different stages of harp seals.

Habitat

According to the Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Animals, “seals live in subarctic and arctic waters.” Harp seals like very cold weather. According to Peter Saundry, “seals are dependent on ice for breeding and molting.” Seals need ice in order to to live. Seals also prefer rough ice that is at least 25 centimeters thick, and they always have holes in the ice for easy access to and from the water (Saundry). Seals always have access to the water and they need access to the water in order to find food.
Big image
This is the range of harp seals.