Hooded Seal

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Hooded Seal

 

(Cystophora cristata), also bladdernose seal, a mammal of the family Phocidae. Adult males measure 210–250 cm in length and weigh 250–300 kg. Adult females measure 30–50 cm less than the males and weigh 50 percent less. Newborns reach 100 cm in length and weigh about 17–20 kg. The coloration is gray with dark spots of various sizes on the back and sides. Newborns have no spots; they are blue-gray above and almost white beneath. The snout of adult males has an elastic subcutaneous “hood” that inflates greatly in times of excitation. The hooded seal is distributed in the northwestern Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It reproduces on the ice in regions near Newfoundland and Jan Mayen; molting occurs in the Denmark Strait. The seal migrates extensively. It feeds on large fishes and cephalopods. The most valuable commercial product is the fur of the young.