Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Pool of Baikal Seal in Irkutsk‏

The seal - is a live symbol of Baikal. It is one of its most beautiful inhabitants and the only species living in a lake. The Baikal seal is one of three limnetic seal species in the world, endemic of Baikal and it lives nowhere else. Looking for food, these seals dive 200 m deep and stay underwater for 20-25 minutes. They give birth to calves on the ice or in a snow lie. Most of the calves are born in the middle of March. In the first weeks of their life they have white fur that allows them to be almost invisible in snow. Adult mails achieve 130-150 kg and their length may be up to 1.8m, females are smaller. The life span of the seals is 55-56 years at most. It is hard to see seals in the natural habitat due to their reticence and fearfulness.