Chapter

Pinniped Diversity, Evolution, and Adaptations

Annalisa Berta

in Return to the Sea

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520270572
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951440 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520270572.003.0003
Pinniped Diversity, Evolution, and Adaptations

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The origin and evolutionary history of pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) is traced in this chapter. Also covered are their adaptations—major structural and functional innovations such as blubber and fur, flippers and locomotion on land and in the water, and deep-diving physiology. Key aspects of pinniped biology and behavior, including polygynous mating systems, postpartum estrus and delayed implantation, and life history parameters, including precocial young and the production of fat-rich milk, are discussed.

Keywords: seals; sea lions; walruses; fur and blubber; deep-diving physiology; polygynous mating

Chapter.  6728 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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