What is the difference between true and fur seals? - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

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Where the Namib Desert stretches languidly from the Atlantic Ocean and wild land extends into infinity, dreams become real. At this place where fantasy meets reality, you'll find the Gondwana Collection safely positioned.

Take our outstretched hand and let us introduce you to our extraordinary country, Namibia. From the massive chasms of the Fish River Canyon, the fossilised dunes of the Namib Desert and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert to the waterways of the Kavango and Zambezi, there are countless marvels to behold. Explore this awe-inspiring wilderness from the warmth of our lodges, created with conservation cognizance and ample character. And return to relax after an exciting day of discovery.

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Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

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Enjoy Namibia’s most popular destinations on this compact guided tour that incorporates visits to the Kalahari and Namib deserts – including the famed Sossusvlei dunes, the intriguing coastal town of Swakopmund, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and Etosha National Park. more

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Namibia Road Map 2019/20

Anyone touring Namibia should definitely take our road map along. It is available from Gondwana free of charge, or as pdf download. This map features fascinating experiences plus recommended accommodation. At the same time it is an ordinary road map with all the essential information of the official Namibia road map by Prof. Uwe Jäschke and the Roads Authority of Namibia.

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What is the difference between true and fur seals?

Avatar of inke inke - 06. March 2018 - Environment

The Cape fur seal or brown fur seal, which occurs on the Namibian coast in large numbers, is a member of the “eared” seal family. The ears are visible, and on land this type of seal is able to ‘walk’ in a waddling fashion on its hind and fore flippers. Under water it swims with its fore flippers.

Dirk Heinrich

Contrary to general assumptions there are two distinct seal families. True seals do not normally occur on the Namibian coast. The Cape fur seal, or brown fur seal, on the other hand is a member of the “eared” seal family and lives on our shores in large colonies. Fur seals and sea lions form one group.

Sea lions and fur seals have small outer ears – thus the term ‘eared seal’. Earless seals like the leopard seal, elephant seal or the grey seal do not have external ear flaps. The so-called true seal is an earless seal.

Fur seals and sea lions keep their flippers turned backwards when resting or swimming, but they rotate them forward for ‘walking’ or climbing on land and support their body with all four limbs. Earless seals are unable to do that. They are swift swimmers but because of their enormous weight they can barely move on land. They belly crawl without using their hind flippers. 

When swimming and diving, fur seals and sea lions propel themselves forward with their fore flippers while steering with the hind flippers. True seals, by contrast, keep their fore flippers tucked to the body and use their powerful hind flippers for propulsion. Another difference between the two seal families is that male true seals have an internal scrotum whereas male fur seals and sea lions have scrotal testes. 

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