The seal who likes to sun bathe in the middle of roads

A seal called Dale (or Robbie depending on who you ask) is gaining quite the reputation in New Zealand for lying in strange places in order to soak up the suns rays. This includes footpaths, people’s gardens and most recently roads, which get particularly warm in the summer period.

Dale is causing quite the commotion with his sun bathing activities, which recently caused a traffic diversion in the city of Dunedin, with conservation workers eventually ushering the seal back to sea. Dale is reported to have caused the Department of Conservation to be called out ten times in order to coax him back to sea.

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How else can seals warm themselves?

In cold temperatures, the peripheral blood vessels of seals constrict (narrow), conserving heat by keeping warm blood away from the external environment, while insulating blubber reduces loss of heat. The hind flippers have numerous superficial blood vessels (blood vessels that empty into deeper ones) close to the skin and a few deep blood vessels. When cold, seals press their hind flippers together, in effect “pooling” the heat contained in the numerous superficial vessels, which then conduct this heat to the deeper blood vessels enabling internal organs to maintain a high temperature.

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Jess Webster

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