Melbourne researchers break through the mystery of why some seals and sea lions swim differently from others.
Unlike feet-propelled grey and harbor seals in the northern hemisphere, Australian-based fur seals and sea lions utilize wing-like front flippers for swimming.
Biologists initially thought the forelimb and hindlimb moved seal groups developed from separate land-dwelling forefathers. Do you know? but genetics has actually since disproved the theory.
Monash University biology and engineering researchers are studying the underwater movement of seals. They found some types established larger front flippers for hunting in search of responses.
Dr. David Hocking said that ” Species like the Antarctic leopard seal probably required an extra boost of speed to help them capture extremely invasive, fast-swimming prey,”
” Over evolutionary time, they extended their front flippers to make more reliable tools for propelling through the water.”
Antarctic leopard seal developed that way despite being from the foot-propelled seal household.
The research study’s finding was supported by computer system simulations and footage of leopard seals swimming undersea at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. They revealed that seals are utilizing their front limbs similar to fur seals and sea lions.
The development of Antarctic leopard seal’s front flippers might have helped them catch their victim, it makes consuming more tedious.
Dr Hocking said that ” While seal in the northern hemisphere can utilize their clawed paws to tear apart big fish, Antarctic leopard seal with their huge front flippers can’t hold onto their food anymore”
” Rather they need to shake apart their food at the water’s surface area– similar to a fur seal.”
In spite of the cross-discipline research study providing handy clues into how they developed. Dr Hocking concedes the supreme answers lie in fossils.
References – Need for speed led to seal swim evolution – Australian …. https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2021/05/need-for-speed-led-to-seal-swim-evolution/