Monday, October 27, 2008

Seal Wars

Today, we had a couple of Weddell seals visit the dive holes under our huts. Here’s seal taken from the underwater observation tube.


One of the seals fell asleep under our kitchen hut and we heard him (her?) snoring beneath the floor boards. Kozue is taking a photo of the seal.


When we lifted the floor to watch the seal, all we could see was the seal’s nose and a few whiskers.


These type of seals often hold their breath when they fall asleep. (This is formally known as sleep apnea, which is dangerous in newborns, but perfectly normal in seals.) Cass is timing the length of the breath hold – about 3 minutes between breaths.


The seals are very territorial about their breathing holes and there were a lot of calling, trilling, and loud thumps, which continued long into the night. (I think that I need to have a long talk with those seals. They are keeping me awake when they fight at night.)