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What is Special About Seals?

Introduction

With their big, brown eyes and appealing dog-like faces, seals are attractive creatures. They live all over the world, from the frozen wastes of the polar regions, to the tropical beaches in Hawaii, and almost everywhere in between. Like dogs, cats, whales, mice and humans, seals are mammals which means that they are warm-blooded and suckle their young. Millions of years ago, the ancestors of seals moved from the land back into the sea and evolved special characteristics to adapt to their environment. Their clumsiness on land belies their supreme elegance when swimming underwater where they are skilled hunters of fish and other marine prey. Seals have flippers instead of hands and feet, and they can dive for up to an hour to depths of more than 200m and even down to 500m without surfacing for breath. They are also intelligent, and some have been trained to understand short sentences and to perform in circuses and zoos.