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Meet the Flipper Feet! Pinnipeds of the Arctic, Part 1

“Pinniped” refers to a suborder of carnivorous, fin-footed mammals that live in marine environments. The name comes from the Latin words “pinna” and “pedis,” which together mean “feather-footed” or “wing-footed”…but you might know them better as seals! Sea lions and walruses are pinnipeds, too. And who doesn’t love whimsical, charming seals? They’re awfully cute, like “sea puppies” with their big, black eyes, whiskers, and the way they wave their flippers. But there is much more to seals that make them fascinating to a wildlife aficionado—and integral to their ecosystem. Kristina Disney, an Expedition Leader from Victoria, BC, introduces us to a special group of pinnipeds: the seals and walruses of the Arctic. They play a major role in the Arctic food web, both top-down and bottom-up. From behavior to blubber, gain an understanding of the features that make these amphibious marine mammals so cleverly adapted to their daunting environment. Discover how they have evolved and developed to thrive. How does their fur, fat and insulin production play a role? How do diving ability and feeding habits, including fasting, help sustain them? While today’s webinar is a general overview, tune in again on Sept. 21 for Part 2, as Kristina takes a closer look at the five individual species of Arctic pinniped and challenges to their conservation.


Originally presented September 17, 2021
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Together, Natural Habitat Adventures and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the globe, while helping to protect the spectacular places we visit and their wild inhabitants.

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