New Z fur seals

Warning: Don’t startle seals. They’ll charge. This man took a risk and also disturbed a colony.
DSC01353 (1024x768)

We remember the story: fur seals were hunted by Europeans to the brink of extinction in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Luckily now the population of seals has mostly recovered. Kiwis are nonchalant about seeing these whiskered mammals but Forrest and I were very excited to visit a busy nursery on Otago Peninsula. How many seals can you count in this photo?
DSC01409 (1024x683)

DSC01421 (1024x683) Moms deserve a rest. They alternate between foraging in the sea for 1-20 days and then returning to the nursery to suckle their single pup for 1-2 days. The cycle continues. And they are amazing swimmers, diving up to 163 meters deep and staying under water up to 11 minutes. They feed mostly on squid and small fish. The Otago Peninsula seals feed exclusively at night when prey migrates vertically towards the sea surface. Whiskers help them “see” in the dark.

DSC01405 (1024x683) DSC01381 (1024x683)
The pups spend a lot of time playing with objects and other pups.

Some Otago pups take on a ginger color which is iron absorbed from the rocks.
DSC01391 (1024x683)

What eats N.Z. fur seals?
a. great white sharks
b. sea lions
c. sevengill sharks
d. all of the above

answer: D

answer: D