Chordates •

Antarctic fur seal

(Arctocephalus gazella)



L ' fur seal Antarctic ( Arctocephalus gazella ) is one of seven sea lions like Fur.As the name suggests,it is widespread in Antarctic waters.About 95% of the entire population reproduces in Southern Georgia.It is named in honor of the German vessel SMS Gazelle who collected the first specimen at the Kerguelen islands.For this reason it is also known as the Kerguelen fur seal.Compared to the other members of the family,this fur seal has a short and wide snout.Adult males are dark brown.Females and young people tend to be gray,with the lower regions being clearer.The coloring is very variable and some scientists believe that sometimes hybridizations have occurred with subantarctic fur seal.The puppies,almost black at birth,are dark brown.About one specimen every 1000 is a pale "blond" variant.The males are much larger than the females: they measure 2 m in length and weigh between 91 and 209 kg.They live around 15 years,but females can reach 25.When they feed and migrate,these animals seem to act individually.Males are polygamous - a robust male can mate,in a single season,with more than a dozen females.In breeding sites,the territories are established between October and early November,when the males,with their pungent smell of mold,are extremely protective of their harem.The gestation lasts just over a year and the females give birth in November or December.The puppies are weaned at the age of about a month.The young can spend several years in the water before returning to the beach and starting their reproductive cycle.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
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