Belek is a newborn baby seal. It is called not just a seal, but by its own name, distinct from its parent, for a completely white, without a spotless, skin.
What is the reason for this? This, of course, is not accidental: there are no accidents in nature. The fact is that the first three weeks the small seal does not descend into the water - it lies on the ice. Previously it was assumed that the white skin is necessary for the baby only for masking. Indeed, in the photographs obtained from the aircraft, the whites are completely invisible. But it turns out, it's not just that. A Norwegian biologist who has studied this issue has found that the hair of the newborn harp seal is not white at all, but transparent, that is, colorless, and serves as a good conductor of solar heat in the skin of the animal. And since only a born seal does not yet have a thick fat layer, this circumstance is very important for him.
Thanks to the colorless wool, the baby is well heated in the sun, and the fur coat acts like a thermos: the heat does not leave it! For three weeks, proteins accumulate a solid layer of fat and can already do without such a "thermos". Therefore, he sheds, changing white outfit to a dark one. Now he goes into the water, and he does not need a light fur coat anymore.
The weight and length of an animal can vary greatly - from ninety-five kilograms to three tons, from one and a half to six meters. The smallest species is the ringed seal, the largest is the elephant seal. Usually the color of the animal is brown, gray or reddish. Under natural conditions, females live up to thirty-five years, and males - up to twenty. The body of the animal has a spindle shape, the head is small, tapering in front. Short and sedentary neck, auricles are absent. Well pronounced, but short tail. The front flippers are rather short (less than twenty-five percent of the total body length). They are much shorter than the rear.
Reproduction and feeding
In the mating season, the seals are held in pairs. The birth of a cub usually occurs on ice. One puppy is born. On the light, he appears sighted, completely physically formed. Most often females try to hide their young in snowy burrows. Milk feeding stops when the calf is not yet able to get its own food, therefore, from two to twelve weeks the animals go hungry, surviving only due to the accumulated fat.
Baby seal: what's the name?
This is perhaps the most charming representatives of the animal world - a large head and large, wide-open eyes. In addition, these babies have snow-white fur covering the whole body. For a long time, the Pomors have called the adult male seal bald, the female the Utelga, and their cubs have been called differently, depending on age, Belka, Greengrass, Circom, Khokhlushka. All these names are correct and relevant in our days. In scientific literature, a small seal is most often called a puppy. And such a baby is called a seal.
Baby seal: birth
In the summer months, the seals live in the Far North. In late autumn, they begin to move south. For breeding, they choose large and strong ice floes, on which “detailed hacks” are created, which can stretch for tens of kilometers. The number of animals in such "colonies" numbers tens of thousands of individuals. The pregnancy of seals lasts eleven and a half months. I must say that ice is a reliable antiseptic: very low temperatures do not allow microbes to develop. The birth of babies occurs from January to April. The bulk of the babies appears from February 20 to March 5.
The greenish tint does not last long. By the way, it is formed under the influence of amniotic fluid in the womb. After five days, he disappears completely, and the baby seal, the photo of which you see in this article, turns into a charming creature of absolutely white color. At this time, he is very dependent on his mother. A female seal feeds its cub every four to five hours. Her milk is very fat (fat is up to fifty percent). Thanks to this, every day the baby gains up to three kilograms of weight. During this period the seal pup is very defenseless. What is it called at this time? Of course, belek.
Features of a baby seal
Huge white eyes are constantly watering, so it seems that the animal is crying. But this is a natural process of moisturizing the eyes. Belek, baby seal, constantly trembles. This is due to the regulation of heat in his body. He has not yet formed a fatty layer, like an adult animal. Wool Belka consists of transparent hollow hairs, which pass sunlight well onto black skin, thereby warming it.
For a long time, the researchers of these animals believed that the female, which needs to leave from time to time in search of food for herself, finds white hair. This is not true. A baby seal has an individual smell, thanks to which the mother finds it.
It was believed that a baby seal (whose name is a belek), which a man once stroked, will forever remain an “orphan”. The female will no longer approach him. This is not true. If you happen to visit the North Pole, you can iron these adorable animals as much as you like, but do it with gloves, as they react very negatively to the human hand that is too “hot” for them.
And one more tip. Stroking the squirrel and playing with it, do not block it from the mother - losing sight of the cub, she can rush to the attack.
Enemy of seals
The most terrible and merciless enemy of seals is the polar bear. At the end of the harsh and hungry winter, the cub seal is excellent prey for him. The female usually does not protect the white - what can she oppose to a hungry and enraged predator in his native element? If the ceiling is over a meter above the snow hole, then it is difficult for a bear to find shelter, but if a hole is found, then the belek is doomed to death.
See what "baby seal" in other dictionaries:
horse horses - Konzheya, konzhui baby seal, no longer sucking mother, Mezensk. (Sub.). From Sami. ter. koandzai walrus species, see. Itkonen 52 ... Max Vasmer's Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language
Ropshak - rapshak baby seal in the first days after birth, arhang. (Sub.). Derived from the goal. rob seal (see the correspondences of Kluge Goetze 483) ... Max Vasmer's etymological dictionary of the Russian language
telesea - body seal cub, arhang. (Sub.). Probably, from the body ... Max Vassmer's Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language
belek - lka, m. Cub seal ... Small academic dictionary
pup - nka, mn. Nyata, Nyat, m. Young seal ... Small academic dictionary
PUP - PIT, seal, pl. seals, seals, husband Baby seal “They won't budge like seal sleeping on ice floes beyond Arkhangelsk.” Nekrasov. Explanatory Dictionary Ushakov. D.N. Ushakov. 1935 1940 ... Ushakov Explanatory Dictionary
belek - belek, white and (baby seal) ... Russian spelling dictionary
Equivalent vocabulary - Vocabulary that does not have correspondences in other languages or in other subcodes of a given language and cannot be translated into other languages. Due to differences in the conditions, lifestyle and culture of ethnic groups or geographically separate groups of a given ethnic group. ... ... Dictionary of sociolinguistic terms
non-equivalent vocabulary - Vocabulary that does not have correspondences in other languages or in other subcodes of this language that cannot be translated into other languages: 1) exotism, denoting phenomena and concepts that are absent in the life of a certain people: papaya, passion fruit - ... ... Dictionary of linguistic terms T. . The draw
Equivalent vocabulary - Vocabulary that does not have correspondences in other languages or in other subcodes of a given language that cannot be translated into other languages: 1) exotism, denoting phenomena and concepts that are absent in the life of a certain people: papaya, passion fruit - ... ... General linguistics. Sociolinguistics: Reference Dictionary
Family Seals (Phocidae) - Species belonging to this family have very diverse body sizes: from 1, 2 to 6, 0 m. Unlike the two previous families, the true flippers of real seals do not bend in the heel joint and cannot serve ... ... Biological encyclopedia
Seals are predator mammals that belong to the pinniped group and live in the coastal waters of the seas located mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. But this is general information. In fact, only harp seals and some species of ringed seals live in the arctic expanses. But long-sided seals can be found in Canada and the British Isles, and ringed seal - on the Baltic and Lake Ladoga. There is also the Caspian seal - where this species lives, it is clear from the name.
The seal specimen is quite massive. The weight of even the smallest representative of an adult seal ranges from 95 kg (in the ringed seal) to an incredible 3 tons (in the elephant seal, the largest among seals). The elongated, spindly body of an animal may have a brownish-red or gray color. Its length, depending on the type - from one and a half to six meters.
The seals have a small head with a slightly elongated muzzle, an inactive neck and a massive, but short tail. The front legs are lagging behind the hind legs. The so-called real seals, which are referred to here, unlike eared ones, do not have an auricle. They live from twenty years (males) to thirty-five (females).
How and where do the seals bring their offspring?
All these animals are united by one thing - for the continuation of the species they need large ice floes with access to clear water, so that the female can hunt without leaving the baby for a long time. That is why for breeding, seals from the northern regions usually migrate further south. And, for example, the Caspian seal searches for freezing waters in the north of the Caspian. Having taken out and having grown offspring, seals come back to deep-water areas.
Toddlers appear on the so-called "baby hauls" - huge many kilometers of ice floes, in which the colonies of the described mammals number tens of thousands of individuals. They harbor juvenile cubs for 11 and a half months. And most of the newborns appear between late February and early March.
By the way, the pups of the harp seal, or lysuna, appeared in the multitude in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but now because of global warming, the ice of the gulf is becoming thinner. And, as a result, the seals are forced to look for other places of the haul.
To the light, a female seal or seal is born, as a rule, one puppy (belek). He is completely physically formed and has normal vision. However, he is not yet able to independently obtain food and defend himself against natural enemies. Therefore, at first, females try to hide their helpless baby seal in snow burrows.
Zelentsy, Belki, Khokhlushi and Serki
The newborn baby seal is called greenfinch, because white fur acquires a greenish tint from its long-term exposure to amniotic fluid in the womb. This baby weighs from 8 to 10 kg, the size of the body can reach 95 cm.
The coat of whitecoat, which already becomes completely white a few days after birth, seems to be fluffy and airy like that of polar bears, but this impression is deceptive. She's pretty tough. Each hair of fur inside is empty and filled only with air. The skin itself under the black fur is at least to some extent attracts the mean warmth of the northern sun and protects the kids from the cold, because they still do not have a fat layer on the body. The constant trembling contributes to the regulation of heat in the body.
A couple of weeks after the birth, the seal puppy of a belek enters the phase of its first molt. Its fur (albeit only for a week) takes on an untidy, disheveled appearance with appearing silver-grayish spots. Now it is called khkhlushy. But by the month of life the fur seal undergoes changes again. Now he, approaching in color to adult seals, becomes gray. The fur of a serbian is already much darker than that of whitecoats, black and dark gray spots appear on the whole body. And the wool becomes harder and shorter.
Why is the white belek
A newborn baby seal and seal before the first molt has white fur with a slightly yellowish tinge. Belki can get into the water and swim only after the first molt, when their fur turns gray. White fur in water instantly gets wet. Therefore, in their first few weeks of life, the whites are forced to dwell among ice and snow, trying to be as less visible as possible to the eyes of such dangerous predators as walruses and polar bears. Well, man, of course.
What does a whitebird eat?
The protein feeds on the mother’s fat milk, and thanks to this food, it gains 2-3 kg of weight per day. Cubs eat a lot and after a few hours after feeding, they begin to squeak again, making it clear to the female that they are hungry. If there is no one nearby, the pup begins to crawl on the ice, trying to find it. Sometimes they get to another female. But these animals have an excellent sense of smell - and no seals will feed the young calf. But my mother, after returning from the hunt and not finding his whiteness on the spot, will quickly find him, having buried his nose in the snow and set off on the trail.
After a fixed time, the female ceases to feed the cub, and it begins to molt, gradually becoming gray. During this time, he has been eating nothing for three weeks, or even for three weeks, hiding in ice holes and consuming the reserves of fat that he managed to accumulate after birth, being whitewash. But the little sulfur can already dive and hunt, catching small crustaceans and other prey.
How to behave near the seal and its cubs
Baby seals are one of the most charming and unusual representatives of the fauna of the planet. The whites have snow-white skin and huge eyes, and even constantly moisturized due to habitat features. So it seems that the little seals are crying.
Curious tourists should bear in mind that one should not get up between the seal and its young. With the loss of visual contact with their offspring, some, especially young, females become aggressive and ready to protect him, by all means. They can throw at the fit, and this is not less than a quintal of live weight with sharp teeth and strong claws.
You can calmly examine the baby if his mother went hunting. The squirrels are curious and cannot scratch or bite anyone. When meeting with strangers, they, most likely, will either try to escape, moving awkwardly, or, on the contrary, will crawl towards you themselves to sniff. True, realizing that they are not their mother, the baby seal will quickly lose interest to the stranger.
Belka can be stroked - he will calmly transfer this procedure, some of them even turn over so that their tummy is scratched. But here, too, it is desirable to follow simple rules. You can not iron a baby seal with his bare hands - after all, he lives in the snow, a man’s hand is too hot for a baby and can cause him stress. When tactile contact with the seals, it is advisable to wear gloves. Specialists-zoologists also do not recommend taking belkov in their hands. Small seals are so shy that they usually spit up the contents of their stomach on tourist clothes.
Hunting seal pups is prohibited. Unfortunately, as soon as the squirrel turns into a Circus, the animal can already be killed by a hunter. In Canada, for example, the government allocates hunting quotas for thousands of seals.
Belki - Baby Seals
The seals are called calves of the harp and long-sided seals, as well as ringed and Caspian seals. Contrary to the prevailing view, only harp seals and some ringed seals inhabit the Arctic and Subarctic. The rest are found in relatively warm regions of the temperate climate zone: long-sealed seals at the latitude of southern Canada and the British Isles, ringed seals in the Baltic Sea and Lake Ladoga, and the Caspian seal in the Caspian Sea. To produce offspring, they go to colder places where there is ice. For example, the Caspian seal in winter migrates to the freezing waters of the north of the Caspian Sea-lake, and returns to its southern deep-water part in the warm time.
White fur is only a few weeks old.
The skin of the newborn white yellow-green shade. The reason for this is a long exposure to the amniotic fluid in the womb. Therefore, the newly born baby is called greenberry. After a few days, his fur becomes white and the little seal becomes white. He remains a fluffy white lump for several weeks while he eats his mother's milk. Then the female seal leaves the cub. After that, his white fur begins to fade: the belek turns into hohlusha. At the end of the molt, the baby's skin becomes smooth and gray like that of an adult seal. Now he is considered a young individual and is called Serka.
Belt fur is not soft at all
The coat of fur is fluffy, but it only seems soft. In fact, it is quite tough. Like polar bears, it consists of transparent, hollow hairs, filled with air, which let the sun's rays through and warm the black skin. Но, несмотря на это, детёныши тюленей всё время дрожат. Дело в том, что у них ещё нет толстого жирового слоя, и постоянное дрожание служит для регуляции тепла в организме.
Бельки не могут плавать
Детёныши тюленей появляются на свет на льдинах, где и вынуждены провести первые несколько недель жизни. На протяжении этого времени они не могут погружаться в воду: их пушистый тонкий мех мгновенно намокает. They will be able to swim only after a molt, already in a new gray fur coat. And until that time, hiding from walruses, polar bears and, in particular, from humans, they can only hope for their low visibility in the snow and ice.
Belki gain 2-3 kg in weight daily
Female seals feed their cubs with milk containing up to 50% fat. It is thanks to this nutritious food that the belek gains 2-3 kg per day. During feeding, the small seals suckle milk, smacking loudly like children. And, like children, the whites become hungry again after a couple of hours. They squeak, attracting the attention of their moms. It often happens that moms are not around: she may be on the hunt. And the cub begins to look for it, creeping up to all the female seals that are nearby. But each female recognizes her whale by smell and feeds only him. The rest she drives away, not succumbing to the pitiful squeak. Thus, a hungry baby can rush until his mother returns. She will not lose her child: having buried her nose on the surface of the ice, she will crawl on the trail of her white sack, moving with short pushes and without working at all with her limbs.
A white-headed sack goes hungry for several weeks before becoming a serk
When the female seal ceases to feed the baby with milk and leaves it alone on the ice flock, the white hare begins to molt. During molting khokhlusha does not eat anything, dispensing with accumulated reserves of fat. Shedding lasts two to three weeks. Having become a grayfish, a small seal can already hunt itself. Crustaceans usually become its first prey.
Squirrels do not cry for sadness
The large black eyes of the whites constantly water. But this does not come from sadness, hunger, or pity for the congeners. Seals are marine mammals. Most of the time they spend in the water. But, due to the unique ability of pupils to expand, these animals can see well both under water and on land. The only thing - on land, the eyes of the seal require additional moisture. This function is performed by tears. The same is true for whales, although they can not swim.
Before the eyes of the mother, Belka is better not to touch
When people approach, the female seal usually dives into the water and closely observes what is happening from the hole. However, young mothers behave differently. They are ready to fight for their whiteness to the last. The situation becomes especially dangerous when a man stands between the female and her cub. In this case, an infuriated centner of weight with powerful jaws and sharp claws, having lost visual contact with the baby, can rush to the attack, injure and even kill the person.
Belki react to people differently
The only possible option to quietly go up to the white cat is to find a cub whose mother swam away to hunt. Seeing people, Belka behave differently. Some people are aggressively yapping and trying to clumsily crawl away (due to the structure of their body they cannot bite or scratch a person). Others stare for a long time, then, full of curiosity, creep up and sniff. However, most often, realizing that they are not in front of their mother, they crawl away in disappointment.
Belki love to be stroked
Belki happily squint when they are stroked. They can even roll back in order to substitute to scratch the tummy. But it is important that the hand be in a glove. Bare hand at low temperatures it seems prying hot. Such a touch is a great stress for the body of a small seal. Experts also do not advise taking belkov in their hands. These animals are quite shy and can easily leave half of their food in an ecotourism jumpsuit.