Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Zoosday Tuesday

Ringed Seal

I'm coming back to Zoosday Tuesday by picking up where we left off in February, in the Artic.

Isn't I cute?

These chubby little guys are the smallest of the seal species.  They get their name from the lighter colored rings on the dark grey or black background.

They are the main food source of polar bears, but before you feel too sorry for them,  keep in mind that they are super fast and sleek under the water. They stay close to the water at all times, by either floating along on ice floes, or digging holes in the ice that they can slip into when a big white bear comes prowling around.

During the winter, when the ice freezes solid the ringed seals are able to dig out holes deep under ice that other seals can't reach. They use their sharp front claws to dig 5-8 holes that they pop out of every 15-30 minutes when they need air.  They blow bubbles out of the hole before surfacing in the hopes that a waiting polar bear will give away his position.

Hope there aren't any polar bears around

They pack on the pounds by eating up to 62 different types of fish and shrimp.

whoops I'm not a ringed seal, but I do have blubber
Anyway they need the extra weight they pack on to get through the molting season. Every May and June ringed seals shed all of their fur and skin so they can grow a new coat.  During this time, they don't eat because they can't go in the water without thier protective coats.  Pupping females add two months to their fast because they don't eat or swim while their nursing their pups.  But pups are weaned after only two months and after four months they are able to fend for themselves.

Ringed seal pups are born with a white coat
They molt this first coat during their first months of life to be replaced by the grey rings.

I is molting, yuck!

These speedy little seals spend most of their life in the water; swimming, fishing, and breeding. They manage to evade their arch enemy the polar bears more times than not.


  1. Yay for the return of Zoosday!!!!!

    And what a return!! Baby seals are just the best!!! And look at the eyes!! I love seals' eyes. Perfectly round and beautiful!!!

    Lovely!! Take care

  2. I love this, Melissa. The pics are so precious. I just wanna pick them up and squeeze 'em.


  3. So cute! I especially love the second one and the last one. :-)

  4. My husband and I were watching a seal swim around the harbor yesterday, chasing anchovies. I love sea creatures :)

  5. I love how smart animals are. I loved the picture of one blowing bubbles!

  6. Love this. That last picture was too cute! I have a blubber of my own, actually make that 3. (Hugs)Indigo

  7. The molting seal is quite a sight! Funny that you added chubby kitty photo.