...and seals love to swim. They can do just about anything under water. Except breathe, of course. They can even sleep while floating, as long as their nostrils remain free to soak in plenty of salty air. When it comes to the love of liquid, seals are as passionate as the best of the bug-eyed fish. One might wonder then how such water savvy creatures manage to love the land so much. And one would be right to wonder, for love the land they do. Of course, their blubbery bodies move faster when wet, and if given a choice, most seals would choose a swimming contest over a running (or wobbling) one any day. But all seals are born to bask. They simply must have their daily bake.
Seals do not communicate like we do. The fact that you rarely see seals competing in spelling bees, however, does not mean they have no worthy language of their own. In fact, they have an extremely efficient and colorful language, one with great nuance and depth. Seals communicate with their whole bodies.
Take barking. Seals dont just bark. They bark loud, soft, long, short, high and low. They dont just sniff. They snort, snuff and whiff. They twist their sensitive whiskers in every possible direction. They scrunch their noses, blink their eyes, bite their lips, jiggle their ears (or earholes) and wink. They flip their foreflippers, whack their hind flippers and roll on the ground. They wag, waddle and wave. They nod their heads up and down, all around, left, right, and all the way back. They gurgle, blurb, swallow, yulp, screech, pant, lick and howl. They also dodder, teeter and totter. They shuffle, stagger, wiggle and waggle. They jump up and down, from one flipper to the other. They click, clank and clap. They buzz, babble and blow bubbles. They shriek, sing, and squawk. They moan, toot and patter. Seals even laugh, cry and sigh.
Apart from the above, it would be terribly unfair to generalize about seals. Just like us humans, seals are a diverse bunch. Some live on icebergs, others on mudflats. Some dine on fish, others on squid. Some have ears that stick out, others have ears that stick in. Some snort, others gurgle. Some live in big tight communities, others in small loose families. Some like to huddle together to keep warm, others like to flip sand on their backs to keep cool. Some travel vast distances every year. Some stay put. I could go on and on, but I think Ive made my point. There are all kinds of seals living all kinds of ways. And thats exactly how it should be.