- Like seals, they mainly eat squid and fish, but they also eat a variety of other foods. Their exact diet depends on where they live, as seals inhabit wide area territories.
- Depending on their sex and breed, seals can weigh up to 8,800 pounds. This makes them powerful hunters, able to catch prey such as sharks and rays.
- Due to their large size and strong bite, they don’t have many natural enemies. Great white sharks and killer whales are some of the few predators capable of handling these heavy creatures.
One of the heaviest and loudest marine mammals on Earth, the seal is big and strong, much like its land counterparts. Known for their large, trunk-like snouts, these marine mammals are indeed a sight to behold.
Although these wondrous creatures were nearly extinct in the 1800s, their numbers have since rebounded. They live in both the northern and southern hemispheres, and you might rarely see them diving for food or basking on the beach.
When they are out at sea, seals spend most of their time eating squid and fish, which make up the bulk of their diet.
What do seals eat?
Seals like seals primarily eat squid and fish, but they also eat rays and sharks, according to NOAA.
Despite living in different places, northern and southern seals eat similar diets. Northern elephant seal populations live in the North Pacific, on offshore islands from California to Mexico to Alaska. You’ll find the largest population in the Channel Islands off Southern California.
Southern elephant seal populations live in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia.
The Complete List of 10 Foods Like Seals Eat
Here’s a full list of 10 foods like seals eat:
- sea squirt
Like seals, they mainly eat squid and smaller fish, but they also eat a variety of different sea creatures. They eat many different kinds of squid and fish, and the kinds vary depending on where they live.
What do seal pups eat?
Seal-like pups are fed their mother’s milk for the first month of life, and then go on to eat squid and fish like adults. They typically grow to 600 pounds in the first month alone. After a month, they will start learning how to swim. While these pups may be shy or fearful in the water at first, they quickly start swimming and are soon out to sea hunting.
At this point, pups have not yet reached their full weight, weighing between 900 and 8,800 pounds, depending on sex and classification as northern or southern seals. Therefore, they tend to eat smaller squid than adults like seals.
How do seals hunt?
Like seals, they hunt by diving into the depths of the ocean. They dive for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, down to depths as low as 2,500 feet. When they’re at sea, they spend 90% of their time underwater – if you’ve ever seen one like a seal on the surface, you’re in luck!
Although seals are large and cumbersome, they are actually very flexible in the water. They can swim at a speed of 10 miles per hour and hold their breath for up to two hours. But unlike sea images, they don’t have the ability to move smoothly on land. Fat under the skin keeps them warm when they hunt in frigid waters.
How much like a seal eats?
Like seals eat up to 270 pounds of food per day. How much seals eat depends on their sex. Males like seals must eat three times as much prey as females, according to a symposium from the Zoological Society of London.
This makes sense given the difference in size and weight. On average, a male northern elephant seal weighs about 4,400 pounds. On the other hand, northern female seals can weigh up to 1,300 pounds.
Southern like seals are even bigger. Males can weigh up to 8,800 pounds and females up to 1,800 pounds.
Are seals dangerous to humans?
Seals spend most of their time at sea – nine months of the year. The only time seals come ashore is to mate and moult. Since humans rarely see these marine mammals on land, we don’t often get reports of seal attacks on humans.
However, if you happen to see something like a seal at sea or on land, don’t go near it! Like many carnivores, seals are very territorial. They can feel threatened if you encroach on their land, and these mammals are known for their ferocious bite. Due to their sharp teeth, their bites can leave nasty marks and can even spread viruses and bacteria.
Despite their aggressiveness, seals may actually be more dangerous to humans than they are to us. In fact, due to overhunting in the 1800s, seals were almost extinct at one point.
In modern times, human equipment and ships threaten the safety of seals. They can become entangled in human fishing gear, which can prevent them from reaching the surface and even lead to drowning. Gear can also depress them significantly, causing them to become exhausted, injured, or unable to hunt normally. Naturally, this leads to poor outcomes for survival and reproduction.
Ship strikes can also injure or kill animals like seals. As ocean traffic increases due to new shipping routes and melting ice, the more likely the sea image will be caught up in the aftermath.
Increased noise and pollution can also create a harsh environment for these marine mammals.
What eats like a seal?
While seals are predators, many animals also see them as prey. Great white sharks and killer whales are two of their most common predators.
To hide, seals use the dark depths to their advantage. They are most vulnerable when they are close to the ocean’s surface, where there is more light. Because sharks and killer whales hunt by sight, these marine animals are safer in deep water and at night.
Seals have more fat to sustain themselves, and they tend to avoid light and instead hide in the dark. But less fatty ones like seals must surface more often because prey such as squid tend to congregate near the surface.
Want to read on? Check out these articles next!
Walruses vs Seals: Key Differences – Learn the difference between Walruses and Seals.
10 Unbelievable Facts About Being Like a Seal – Discover more interesting facts about being like a seal.
What do great white sharks eat? – Learn more about the diet of one of the only predators like seals.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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