Talk:Hawaiian monk seal/Temp
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The Hawaiian monk seal is part of the Phocidae family, being named so for its characteristic lack of external ears and inability to rotate its hind flippers under the body. The Hawaiian monk seal has a relatively small, flat head with large black eyes, eight pairs of teeth, and short snouts with the nostril on top of the snout and vibrissae on each side. The nostrils are small vertical slits which close when the seal dives underwater. Additionally, their slender, torpedo-shaped body and hind flippers allow them to be very agile swimmers and propel themselves through the water. 
Adult males are 300 to 400 pounds (140 to 180 kg) in weight and 7 feet (2.1 m) in length while adult females tend to be slightly larger, at400 to 600 pounds (180 to 270 kg) pounds and 8 feet (2.4 m) feet in length. When monk seal pups are born, they average 30 to 40 pounds (14 to 18 kg) and 40 inches (1.0 m) in length. As they nurse for ~6 weeks, the pups get much larger, weighing in between 150 to 200 pounds (68 to 91 kg) by the time they are weaned, while the mother loses up to 300 pounds (140 kg).
Monk seals, like elephant seals, undergo a catastrophic molt each year in which they shed the outer layer of skin, as well as the old hair. Pups are born with black pelage and molt into a silver-gray juvenile coat near the end of nursing. After molting, most seals are dark gray on the dorsal side and lighter silver ventrally. As the hair wears through exposure to sunlight and seawater, the seals become brown dorsally and yellow-brown ventrally. Long periods of time spent in the water can also promote algae growth, giving many seals a green tinge. The annual molt allows seals to replace their coat. Males usually molt in late summer and fall, while females generally molt after weaning their pups. The catastrophic molt lasts several weeks, during which time the seals spend most of their time on the beach. Many Hawaiian monk seals sport scars from shark attacks or entanglements with fishing gear. Maximum life expectancy is 25 to 30 years.
- Gilmartin, William (2002). "Monk Seals". ncyclopedia of Marine Mammals, eds: 756–759. Unknown parameter
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- Kenyon, K.W. "Life History Of the Hawaiian Monk Seal". Pacific Science. 13. Unknown parameter