Average lifespan in the wild: 25 to 30 years
Size: Length, 7.5 ft (2.3 m)
Weight: 500 to 610 lbs (225 to 275 kg)
Group name: Colony or rookery
Protection status: Endangered
Seals are pinnipeds, all of which are specially adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. They are found worldwide in the temperate and polar seas, and most species breed on land in large colonies. The Hawaiian monk seal gets its name from its loose neck skin that resembles a monk's robe.
Monk Seal video.
What does a Monk Seal look like?
Seals come in many different shapes, sizes and colors, and can be found in a variety of ocean habitats. The largest pinniped, the male southern elephant seal, can weigh as much as 5 1/2 tons. Its distinctive nose, which resembles an elephant's trunk, inflates when roaring to ward off male rivals during breeding season. The weddell seal uses its long upper incisor teeth to bite holes in sheets of ice to create breathing holes after its one-hour dive to find fish and squid.
Where do Monk Seals live?
Most seals are at home in frigid waters, but the Hawaiian monk seal is a rare tropical exception. Hawaiian monk seals live in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. These small islands and atolls are either uninhabited or little-used by humans. They are also surrounded with teeming coral reefs, which serve as great foraging grounds for skilled seals to swim and dive for fish, spiny lobsters, octopuses, and eels. Monk seals spend most of their time at sea, but come ashore to rest on beaches and even utilize fringe vegetation as shelter from storms.
What does a Monk Seal eat?
Hawaiian monk seals spend the vast majority of their lives at sea, but do come to shore to give birth, molt, and to find shelter in large storms. They feed on the coral reefs and sandy bottoms of the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian monk seals eat fish and invertebrates, including reef fish, flatfish, eels, octopus, and lobsters. Monk seals dive deep for their food, often to depths of 250‐300ft, and sometimes deeper than 500ft, and dives can last for up to 20 minutes.
Did you know this about seals?
There are two types of seal: true seals and fur seals. True, or earless, seals are more specialized for aquatic life than fur seals, which are more closely related to sea lions.
True seals have ultra-streamlined bodies compared to fur seals. They lack external ears, can retract their nipples, have internal testicles and their penis lies in an internal sheath.
Seals "sing" underwater, sometimes lengthy songs over a minute long. Scientists believe this behavior is either related to underwater navigation or hunting.
Topping out at around 140 pounds, the Galapagos fur seal is the world's smallest pinniped (fin-footed mammals). At up to 11,000 pounds, the southern elephant seal is the largest.
Monk Seal images
Monk Seal Wallpapers
Download free Monk Seal wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Monk Seal Coloring pages
Print free Monk Seal coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.