Weddell seal field research team member Jesse DeVoe was there with his camera to get some wonderful new video of a mom and pup in a small swim hole. The Weddell mom is enlarging the hole with her teeth to make the pup's entry and exit into the water easier, and encouraging her new pup to join her for a swim.
Weddell moms take an active role in nurturing their pups during the nursing period, and helping them learn to get in and out of the water through the cracks and holes in the sea ice as they learn to swim. Weddell pups usually begin swimming when they are approximately 1 to 2 weeks old.
Some of the new pups will receive small temporary temperature recording tags so that the research team can record how often they swim and for how long during the nursing period.
Here's one of our project videos about Weddell pup swimming activity and the temperature tag project: "Are Some Weddell Seal Pups Couch Potatoes?"
- Mary Lynn Price