These may have been around into the 1970's but the last sighting was 1952. They went from 300,000 or more to extinction quickly after European colonization. There are 2 remaining types of monk seal, the Hawaiian and Mediterranean, both of which are endangered. They are illegally killed by fishermen, and amazingly they are dying because of cats. They can get toxoplasmosis, and sand
There are 2 other kinds of Monk seals, Hawaiian and Mediterranean, but both are endangered. They are often illegally killed by fishermen, and seals also are dying because of cats! They can get toxoplasmosis which kills them too. No pictures of the Caribbean monk seal had any detail for their eyes. I always want to make sure I get the pupils correct because the shape of a pupil has a huge impact on the look of the eye. Researching seal eyes was interesting, some have absolutely amazing eyes that have so much depth to them.
This starts another mini-series within the project. I am going to do a full week of extinct animals.
Walking along the Oregon coast one day I had a seal decide I was very interesting. We have lots of sea lions but I don't see seals as much. At dusk one day though, walking along I saw a seal in the edge of the surf staring at me. I said hi, and talked to it for a little bit. The adorable thing did the dog head tilt. I told it I needed to keep going, and started walking off. The seal followed me. I walked for a little while, and then chatted with it again, walked, and chatted for probably an hour. Finally it decided we had covered all the interesting topics and swam off.