About Hawaiian Monk Seals or H.M.S.
About Hawaiian Monk Seal Pups
Newborn pups have jet-black fur, which they lose as they approach the weaning period. Thereafter, they assume the dark grey coloring like that of mature seals. At birth, the HMS pup is approximately 1 meter, or 3 feet long and weighs between 25 and 30 pounds. A pup usually begins swimming with its mother from day one. The pups are born on beaches and nursed for about six weeks. The mother does not eat or leave the pup while nursing. After that time, the mother deserts the pup, leaving it on its own, and returns to the sea to forage for the first time since the pup’s arrival.
The adult HMS appears dark grey to brown on its top, or dorsal side, and a lighter grey to a yellowish brown underneath, the ventral side. Healthy adult HMS weigh from 400 to 600+ pounds, and range from 6 to 8 feet in length. Adult females are slightly larger than adult males. Eels, lobsters, octopi, and small reef and bottom fish are prey for the Hawaiian Monk Seal. These seals have occasionally been known to dive as deep as 500 meters or 1640 feet. The full lifespan of the Hawaiian Monk Seal is believed to be in the range of 25-30 years, yet not all of them reach this age. Scientists have little data, as most tagged seals of known age are less than 20 years old.
About Adult Hawaiian Monk Seals