Monk Seals in GURPS
Monk seals are earless seals with many primitive characteristics. Once a year they moult all of their skin at once. During this time they rest on shore, typically for a week or two until the moult is finished. Like other earless seals they swim by beating their rear flippers up and down, and steer with their front flippers.
- The Caribbean monk seal Monachus tropicalis is also called the sea wolf. They lived in the waters around the Caribbean Islands. They commoly rested on beeches or rocks in large groups - typically 20 to 40 individuals, but up to 100. Their prey was probably fish and crustaceans. Caribbean monk seals are now probably extinct. The last known sighting was in the 1950's.
- Mediterranean monk seals Monachus monachus are found in the Mediterranean sea and the North African Atlantic coast. They feed on fish and cephalopods. Up until the 20th century, they females would whelp on beaches. Now they give birth in secluded caves, usually with entrances below water, probably to reduce human disturbance. Mediterranean monk seals are now critically endangered.
- The Hawaiian monk seal Monachus schauinslandi is found on the islands of Hawaii. They are smaller than other monk seals, with males around 160 kg and females around 225 kg. They hunt for fish, squid, lobster, crab, and octopus around deep water corals, and occasionally in lagoons. Hawaiian monk seals are critically endangered in modern times.
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