The northern fur seal was discovered thanks to the Russian naval expedition, at the origins of which was still Emperor Peter the Great. The exploration of the Far North-East of the empire, which he planned on the eve of his death, was embodied in two Kamchatka expeditions led by Vitus Bering. During the second expedition, due to a shipwreck, the sailors were forced to spend the winter on the island, which later received the name of Bering.
Behring's assistant Georg Steller, a naturalist and doctor, discovered rookeries of unfamiliar animals on the island. So the Europeans first learned what kind of animal it is - a fur seal. Later, Steller left notes on which the famous Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus classified the unknown northern animal.
It's hard to say why Steller decided to call these animals cats. The sounds they make have nothing to do with the purring of a fluffy pet. Maybe their fur seemed to Steller like a cat? Not likely either.
The fur seal belongs to the eared seal family. It is a predatory animal that feeds mainly on fish. Interestingly, sea lions, also belonging to the eared seal family, often compete with seals for coastal territories. The fact is that the breeding periods of both partially coincide, and at this time the males arrange a “showdown”, trying to push competitors out of convenient places suitable for females with newborn cubs.
The sea lion is much larger, and in a one-on-one fight, he will inevitably win. But the fur seal does not seek to arrange martial arts. Taking advantage of the fact that he is much more mobile, the cat gathers relatives and four or five of them attack the sea lion from different sides. In this case, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the fight. It often happens that the sea lion, giving in to petty and arrogant aggressors, leaves the disputed territory.
However, to say that a fur seal is small would not be entirely true. The body length of the male reaches two hundred and twenty centimeters, and the mass exceeds three centners. Females are less massive: their "height" is one hundred and forty centimeters, and their weight is no more than seventy kilograms.
The range of the fur seal is the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. Immediately after people got acquainted with this animal, the hunt began for it. Valuable fur turned out to be an object of desire. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the number of seals was simply incredible. But people were too greedy. Hunting has been going on for centuries, and by the middletwentieth century, the species was endangered. But, thank God, people caught on in time. In 1957, an international convention for the protection of fur seals was adopted. Their population began to recover. Now fishing is carried out in very limited quantities. Many areas where there used to be numerous fur seal rookeries have become empty. In particular, Seal Island, which got its name precisely because the number of pinnipeds on it was very large.
Navy seals are easy to train, which is why they are so popular with circus performers. These animals are born tightrope walkers, and deftly juggle balls or any other objects in the circus arena. Perhaps, from the family of seals, it is the fur seal that has the highest aikyu. Photos of performances and attractions, where the main character is a cat, invariably show his high artistry and intelligence.