19 Oct 2022

Our Changing World – What does the seal say?

From Afternoons, 3:35 pm on 19 October 2022

You probably wouldn’t expect to hear the blips of UFOs, clanging construction noises, and jungle creature cries beneath the Antarctic ice. But that’s exactly what you do hear if you’re near a Weddell seal.  

A Weddell Seal pup and its mother.

A Weddell Seal pup and its mother. Photo: Public Domain US Geological Survey

Click here to listen to the full episode

This otherworldly seal song is the next ‘voice’ from the icy south in our mini rerun of the award-winning 2020 series, Voices from Antarctica, by Alison Ballance.  

Weddell seals are the southernmost breeding mammal in the world, and in 2019, a couple of dozen seals returned to Scott Base to breed after a decades-long absence. 

A team of scientists are studying the seals to understand whether the recently established Ross Sea marine protected area is helping them. 

Weddell seals live and breed further south than any other mammal. They haul out on snow and ice to rest.

Weddell seals live and breed further south than any other mammal. They haul out on snow and ice to rest. Photo: https://flic.kr/p/dU9cwV CC BY-SA 2.0]

Listen to the full episode to hear the mesmerising song of the Weddell seal. 

Thank you to Liz Garton for help with this episode.  

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