Cape Fur Seal

6 Interesting Facts About Seals

Seals are not as well known as sharks or penguins but that doesn’t mean that they are less majestic. While seals are considered to be wild animals, they can be extremely gentle. Below are some fascinating facts about seals you probably didn’t know:

1. Seals Use Their Whiskers to Hunt
A seal’s whiskers are one of the attributes that make them look cute but these whiskers are used to detect movement of their prey when water is unclear.

2. More than 30 Seal Species 
33 to be exact – ranging from the Galapagos fur seal to the southern elephant seal. In Cape Town, you will find the Cape Fur seal which typically weighs in at around 300kg.

3. The Fat Layer of a Seal Is There for Insulation
Seals have a thick fat layer directly under their skin/fur for protection from the cold. This fat layer contains blood vessels that narrow when they enter freezing waters. This helps to reduce blood flow which helps them retain energy they would’ve otherwise used to stay warm.

4. Seals Can Stay Under Water for up to 2 Hours
Due to the extensive amounts of haemoglobin and myoglobin in their bloodstream and muscles, they can store oxygen for longer periods of time. Anytime a seal dives deep into the ocean, their heart rate slows down drastically and blood flow to various organs are restricted to help them stay underwater for longer.

5. Female Seals Typically Live Longer than Males

The lifespan of seals ranges from 15 to 40 years, depending on whether they are male or female, which type of seal they are as well as their living conditions.

6. Seals Feed Mainly on Fish

While fish is their preference, squid and shellfish also feature in their diet. Seals are typically opportunistic eaters and will eat almost any meat, depending on their location.

If you would like to see these incredible creatures up close and personal, it is completely possible. Cape Town Bucket List offers the experience of diving with seals in Hout Bay. This excursion is a one of a kind adventure not to be missed. For more information or to book your tour, get in touch with us today.

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