29-year-old Weddell seal gives birth to 20th pup
Posted October 26, 2012
Talk about a super mom. Researchers involved in a long-term population study of Weddell seals near the U.S. Antarctic Program's McMurdo Station recently reported that it had found a 29-year-old mother that had given birth to her 20th pup (pictured above).
Sealed and delivered: Long-term population study of Weddell seals makes some 'super' discoveries
Weddell Seal Science
Weddell Seal Population Dynamics
The prolific parent is one of the oldest Weddell seal females in the project's 44-year-long database. Females generally live for about 15 years, giving birth to an average of two pups every three years. The population study of the world's most southerly breeding mammal population is led by Robert Garrott and Jay Rotella , professors in the Department of Ecology at Montana State University , and Don Siniff , professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota .
"This is a special female," Rotella said on the Weddell Seal Science blog , maintained by videographer Mary Lynn Price who supports the education and outreach component of the Weddell seal population dynamics study.