So why do seals slap? The answer to that question has been debated for centuries. We know that they slap their tails on the water as a form of communication with other seals, but what does it mean when one seal slaps its tail on the water and then another responds in kind? What is being communicated between these marine mammals? Scientists have come up with three general theories: 1) that slapping their tails signals where they are 2) that slapping communicates how they feel 3) or even just something fun to do
Seals use tail slaps as communication between other animals in their species. There have been three popular theories about why they do it – here are the three theories:
– Slapping communicates where they are. Seals slap their tails to communicate that information with other seals nearby, as well as convey how comfortable they feel in a given location or environment.
– Their tail slaps might be used to express mood – if animals aren’t feeling great, for instance, slapping would signal this and possibly indicate why not (i.e., because food is scarce). Animals may also use slapping when fighting with each other over territory or mates.
– Tail slaps might just be something fun to do! After all, these mammals spend most of their time underwater; what better way than slapping on the surface? Plus it’s really noisy and startling to humans who can hear them.
– Slapping is also used to communicate with other seals who live in different areas. This behaviour has been observed around the world, from Canada’s Bay of Fundy all the way down to Australia and New Zealand!
Why Do Seals Slap?
-The slapping help them find each other, express moods or excitement, indicate threats or use it as a form of communication that travels over large distances. They may also slap just for fun because they have so much time underwater on their flippers (and what better way than slapping?). Plus it’s startling loud and humans can hear them when they do this – perfect for scaring off predators who are thinking about making lunch out of these aquatic mammals! That is why seals slap, and they really don’t seem to care who hears them.
-Seals are found all over the world from Canada’s Bay of Fundy down to Australia and New Zealand, but why do they slap in different areas around the world? We know that slapping helps these aquatic mammals find each other as well as express moods or excitement (or even indicate threats). But it seems there may be another reason too – because they have so much time underwater on their flippers (and what better way than slapping?), plus it’s startling loud and humans can hear them when they do this – perfect for scaring off predators who are thinking about making lunch out of these aquatic mammals! That is why seals slap, and they really don’t seem to care who hears them.
Seal Slapping – a Means for Communication:
-The slapping noise made by an animal might be the reason why you hear that sound underwater more often than other noises – but what does it mean? In order to find out, we first need to understand how can animals make a slapping noise in the water. Seals (and otters) take air from their lungs into their throat or nasal passages, close off access through one passage with either its flipper or snout then use another limb to push on the open pathway so that gas bubbles are forced up through flexible membranes towards the surface. These bubbles cause the slap and presumably alert other seals in the vicinity of danger.
-The slapping noise may also be a way for them to communicate with others, as it can carry up to 100 meters underwater if conditions are right, according to one study published in The Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. This same study found that this specific type of vocalization is used when animals are engaged in aggressive encounters or mating rituals but not during feeding time (which makes sense because they want potential mates nearby).
What do you think? Do seals slap for fun or for other reasons? Share your thoughts in the comments below!