Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sealed with a kiss

Skomer's seal season is reaching its peak and yesterday we watched pup number 55 emerge into the world on North Haven beach. This amazing series of photos documents the whole thing. Interesting things to note are the way it comes out head first, the amniotic (birth) sac splitting and the umbilical cord breaking (very bloody), the beautiful soft white pup fur and then after the birth is complete the way that mum turns straight around to sniff the pup. She doesn't lick the pup like other mammals but spends quite a lot of time initially nose to nose with the pup forming a bond thought to be based largely on scent. The pictures tell a thousand words and I will let them speak for themselves.

And this is how it should look after a week or so of mothers fat rich milk

I hope the seals spark a light of interest in natural history to readers young and old. There is so much still to learn about these fascinating creatures, we just need to go out and learn.

Tomorrow, countryfile will be filming the seals for a programme to be shown in the near future. so you can learn more about them here for a start.

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