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Donna Hollinger | all galleries >> Hawai'i > Hawaiian Monk Seal: A cookie cutter shark got me!
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Hawaiian Monk Seal:  A cookie cutter shark got me!
28-DEC-2005 Donna Hollinger

Hawaiian Monk Seal: A cookie cutter shark got me!

Poipu Beach, Kauia'i view map

We were told that cookie cutter sharks had been attacking the monk seal population...Monk Seals are an endemic Hawaiin population and are endangered.

While at sea, Hawaiian monk seals have been known to dive as deep as 600 feet to feed and can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes. The reason why monk seals are such expert divers is because they, like all other species of pinnipeds, have developed a very efficient means of using oxygen, allowing them to remain submerged for long periods of time without suffering brain damage or "the bends," two common consequences of oxygen deprivation. Adult seals have the ability to slow their heart rate to a rate of 4 to 15 beats per minute while diving, as compared to a rate of 55 to 120 beats per minute under normal surface conditions. This phenomenon, known as bradycardia, reduces the seal's need for oxygen and conserves it for the vital functions of the heart and brain. Bradycardia develops more fully in smaller pinniped species and more rapidly as the seal gets older.
Mother monk seals are extremely sensitive to any disturbances after pupping. They have been known to abandon their pups when subjected to repeated visits by humans. Monk seal pups measure about 3 feet at birth and . Hawaiian monk seals have a maximum life expectancy of 30 years.

Canon EOS 20D ,Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS
1/500s f/14.0 at 85.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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