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Page 15 - Breeding Behaviour of the Grey Seal off the Coast of Cape Breton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1972/10/31 (1492 reads)

BREEDING BEtlAVIOR OF GREY SEALS "and his territory as "territory A." The entire central and northern part of the is? land, including most of the grassy area, was occupied by another bull, who is de? signated "bull B" and his territory "territory B." A rocky ridge extending from the shoreline to the grassy area, and situated about one-third distance from the southern tip of the island, marked the boundary between the two territories. The drawing shows the customary resting places: bulls black, cows dotted, pups white. There is a lone pup in territory A, One one occasion he came down almost to the water's edge to meet the incoming cows, but none of them paid any attention and he returned to his resting spot. This seemed to confirm the suspicion that he was pre? maturely orphaned, possibly through the death of the cow. The constancy of these resting _ areas made it possible to keep track of individual cows even when there were no discernible physical characteristics by which they could be identified. Each female was given a number: Fl, F2, and so on. Daily Activity Rhythm The movements of the cows appeared to be correlated with the tides, whereas the bulls exhibited no regular activity pattern. Most cows left the beaches when the tide was at its lowest or shortly before. Some went directly from their nursing areas to the water, but most moved gradually, by slow stages, the whole process sometimes taking almost an hour for those cows farthest from the water. When the rising tide had reached the half-water mark, or shortly before, some cows could be seen approaching the shore where most would rest for periods varying from a few minutes to a half hour before crawling up on the beach to rejoin their pups. Thus most cows were at sea for roughly 2 hours, and it is presumed they were feeding. Nursing generally occurred shortly after the cow joined her pup. The usual pro? cedure was for the cow to position herself in front of the pup and at right angles to him so that her teats lay directly in front of his snout. There was obvious so? licitation on her part;in no case did the pup actively solicit the cow, although this undoubtedly does happen. The nursing position was maintained for periods from 13 to 35 minutes with an average of slightly over 20 minutes, but it was impos? sible to determine whether the pup was nursing during this entire period. Since STONE'S The name STONE'S in Baddeck Continues to play a part in Progress I Centrally located in Baddeck, STONE'S is synonymous with "Stone's will have it." This popular establishment is the focal point for residents and visitors alike. Progressive and enterprising • STONE'S Drug Store and STONE'S Handy Andy are separate identities contributing to the growth and economy of Baddeck. STONE'S Drug Store & Handy Andy GEORGE'S DAIRY Baddeck "Famous for nothing" for your Hardware & Plumbing & Electrical Supplies for Clothing of all kinds Reuben McEvoy's General Store Ltd. INGONISH BEACH Open all year at the entrance to the beautiful Cape Bret|n Highlands National Park Cape Breton's Magazine/15
Cape Breton's Magazine
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