Integrated Learning

WALT write an information report aazbout a resource found in the Canterbury areas that is of significant to the Maori.

Fur seal/ Kekeno

The fur seal is a tan and chocolate brown coloured New Zealand native seal with sharp teeth. They also have ears and back flippers that can rotate forwards to help them move faster on land. Fur seals can be found all around the New Zealand mainland, offshore islands and along the southern Australian coast. Fur Seals are one out of only four different breeds native to New Zealand. They are known for being very good swimmers and can sometimes be found in very unusual places.

What do fur seals eat?
New Zealand Fur Seals do most of their feeding at night time in our offshore waters where they feed mainly on squid, red cod, hoki, and lantern fish. Most of their prey have a vertical migration; they come near the surface at night and sink back to the depths during day time.

Why do fur seals lay on rocks?
Many people assume that the fur seals are sun-bathing when lying on the rocks, however they are just resting. The seals have a thick fur coat, underneath this they have a thick layer of blubber. These keep them warm at sea but when they come ashore to rest they are at risk to overheating, so are forced occasionally to enter the water to cool down.

How long can they hold their breath?
Fur seals can dive deeper and longer than any other type of fur seal they can dive more than 200m deep and hold their breath for up to 11 minutes.

How heavy can fur seals get?
Adult females can grown to a maximum length of 1.5 m and their weight 30-50 kg. Adult males can grow to a maximum length of 2.5 m and their weight 90-150 kg.

How do they behave and how good are their senses?
Fur seals have sharp eyesight and keen hearing. They have small ears, unlike the earless or hair seals. Although they breathe air, seals are most at home in the water and may stay at sea for weeks at a time eating fish, squid, birds, and tiny shrimp-like krill. Fur seals may swim by themselves or gather in small groups.

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