Rare video shows a seal inflate its nose like a balloon to attract a female during a mating ritual

Rare video shows a seal inflate its nose like a balloon to attract a female during a mating ritual

A young seal pup is shown lying on the ice

A young hooded seal.NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

  • Rare video shows the mating ritual of hooded seals in the Arctic Ocean.

  • These seals can inflate their nasal cavity to the size of a balloon to attract females and scare away rivals.

  • The scene is from the BBC series “Frozen Planet II” narrated by David Attenborough.

A rare video shows hooded seals competing with females by expanding their nostrils to the size of a balloon.

It depicts mating rituals taking place in the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean.

The video, below, was released alongside the BBC documentary series “Frozen Planet II,” narrated by David Attenborough.

In the video, a young male hooded seal is seen frolicking along an ice floe, where a female is nursing a pup. A larger male is nearby and appears to have claimed the females.

The young man jumps onto the ice to intimidate the older man. He inflates his nasal cavity, which blows up like a black balloon on his forehead. The older man does the same. The display is accompanied by clicking sounds that echo in the inflated sack.

Eventually the old man slinks back into the water.

Encouraged, the younger male approaches the female and mounts again. But this time, it comes out of his left nostril, appearing like a bright red balloon, as shown below.

Illustration shows a hooded seal straining at its nasal sac.

A male hooded seal is shown in an illustration.NOAA

The female is not impressed and sends the younger male on his way with a bite of the tail.

“With only one day a year to mate, the female is intuitive,” Attenborough said in the documentary.

“And until the youngster has grown a more significant balloon, he is unlikely to be selected. No wonder he is deflated.”

More than 600,000 hooded seals live across the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries.

The elongated cavity in their nose is also called the hood, which gives the seals their name.

Males can infuse the cavity across their forehead when they reach adulthood. But only with sexual maturity are they able to infuse the cavity like a reddish balloon under the nose. They shake these sacs violently to intimidate rivals and attract females.

These giant animals are mostly solitary animals, which can weigh up to 776 pounds and measure up to 8.5 feet. During most of the year, they are highly territorial and will face more aggressive competitors than other seals, according to NOAA.

They only come together when they migrate to their breeding grounds east of Greenland over two or three weeks in the spring.

Because of their aggression, it is very difficult to get good footage of the animals, wildlife photographer Sylvain Cordier previously told MailOnline.

That’s not the only strange fact about these seals. Women’s milk is the fattest milk in the world, Insider previously reported.

It contains about 60% fat. By comparison, gourmet ice cream is only about 16% fat, per Insider’s Uma Sharma and Shira Polan.

The fatty food allows the puppies to double their weight in the first week of their lives. Hooded seal pups are weaned in four days, the shortest time of any mammal.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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