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Return to the SeaThe Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals$
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Annalisa Berta

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520270572

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520270572.001.0001

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Pinniped Diversity, Evolution, and Adaptations

Pinniped Diversity, Evolution, and Adaptations

(p.51) Chapter Three Pinniped Diversity, Evolution, and Adaptations
Return to the Sea

Annalisa Berta

University of California Press

The origin and evolutionary history of pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) is traced in this chapter. Also covered are their adaptations—major structural and functional innovations such as blubber and fur, flippers and locomotion on land and in the water, and deep-diving physiology. Key aspects of pinniped biology and behavior, including polygynous mating systems, postpartum estrus and delayed implantation, and life history parameters, including precocial young and the production of fat-rich milk, are discussed.

Keywords:   seals, sea lions, walruses, fur and blubber, deep-diving physiology, polygynous mating

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