If you see our seals look a bit patchy lately, don’t be alarmed; they’re just molting!
Molting is a process that is import for seals’ thermoregulation — meaning how they maintain a core body temperature during warm and cold weather — once the hot summer months come around.
It isn’t their fur that keeps seals warm, it’s that their bodies secrete oils that protect and insulate their coats. Since they live in a region where they don’t need to keep warm in the winter, they molt to shed their coat in patches.
The harbor seals at The Maritime Aquarium go through the molting process once a year, and it usually occurs after breeding season. Since our guests can see the physical signs of molting, our animal trainers explain the details and importance of their molt during our daily seal shows.
Molting puts a drain on their energy, so expect the seals to spend a bit more time resting the rocks during while they’re molting. The sun also warms their skins, which aids in the fur falling out. In the wild, seals typically molt for 1-2 months. At the Aquarium, our seven seals molt from June – September, and it usually only takes a week or two.
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