‘My Brown-Eyed Seal’: Antarctica Explored, A Photo A Day

Weddell seal
Brown Eyes Blue: A baby Weddell seal at Neko Harbour. ©  2014 Avid Travel Media Inc.

Penguins weren’t the only marine life that we saw on our Antarctic voyage this past December on Seabourn Quest. We saw lots of seals too, including Weddell seals, like the one shown in the photo above.

Seals like this one can dive to depths of more than 300 feet, slowing their heart rates to just a few beats per minute. Elephant seals, which we also saw, can hold their breaths for up to two hours. Seals certainly are remarkable creatures.

Note the whiskers on the Weddell seal. They’re not just hairs but highly complicated sensors with more than 500 nerve endings. The sensitive whiskers are useful for catching prey underwater during the dark Antarctic winters. The whiskers allow the seals to detect vibrations from the wake of fish and to snag their prey.

An active adult seal can consume more than 1oo pounds of fish a day. That made me feel a lot better about myself each time I loaded my plate at Seabourn Quest’s Colonnade during lunch.

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