Often referred to as the ‘dogs of the ocean’, seals are some of the most interactive marine animals. These seals are endemic to Southern Africa with roughly 2 million Cape fur seals residing here. They are warm-bloodied mammals that can regulate their body temperatures in the cold Benguela current. Blubber and 2 layers of coarse hair help them to keep warm in the water and it is widely believed that they spend at least 30% of each month in the sea.
Male vs female
A male seal is called a bull. A female is called a cow. The males and females vastly differ in size- the males grow up to 350kg while the females only grow up to 150kgs. The seals live in a harem system (one male with multiple females). This means there could be one male with up to 50 females in a seal colony.
Females are able to delay fertilization for up to three months so that the pups can be born in the warmest temperatures of the year. This means that the pups are usually born between late November- December. The pups stumble around for about three months before learning to swim confidently on their own. When they are fully grown, they can dive to depths of up to 200m. The pups are born with much darker, almost black fur which brightens as they mature. They have ridges on their soles of their flippers as this helps them climb wet, slippery surfaces such as rocks. They have sharp and pointed teeth which grips slimy seafood, but small fish are swallowed whole, head first so that fish scales do not scratch their mouths. Seals are highly capable predators with its exceptional swimming and hunting abilities to help them catch squid, crustaceans, molluscs, and a variety of fish.
We often head out on a boat to visit these seals. Whether snorkeling or scuba diving they are always in the mood to play. Partridge Point is our local seal-viewing site. You can click on the link attached to find out more about the dive site. Alternatively, you can check out our videos and pictures on Facebook and Instagram of our seal-veiwing experiences.