Seals live at both ends of the Earth and travel in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Fur seals, crabeaters, leopard seals, Ross seals, Weddell seals and southern elephant seals prefer Antarctica, while the harp seal, hooded seal and ringed seal live in the Arctic.
Seals spend the majority of their time in the water searching for food or on packed ice floes, where they mate, give birth and care for their pups. According to the Antarctic Connection, more seal species live in Antarctica because of undisturbed food sources and the lack of predators, such as the arctic fox and polar bear, who live up north.
Seals feed primarily on fish, but they also eat squid, crustaceans, krill or mussels. To find food, they may dive up to 1,000 feet to the ocean bottom and dig in the seabed.
Seals have excellent eyesight and sensitive whiskers that can feel the movement of nearby fish. With sleek bodies that move swiftly through the water and strong jaws with sharp teeth, they can easily subdue slippery prey.
The hooded seal has a black membrane (or hood) in his nose that he can blow air into and make as big as a soccer ball to warn off other males during breeding season. When he closes one nostril and blows out the other, he can expand a red membrane that looks like a balloon on his nose.
Seals, sea lions and walruses all belong to the order Pinnipedia, Latin for "feather feet." All Pinnipeds share the characteristics of a streamlined body and four flippers, but sea lions and walruses can turn their hind flippers forward to move better on land.
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