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GALUMPHING: How Seals Move On Land

Hugh's Aquarium Views Video Number 33

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

If you have ever attended a Seals & Sea Lions show at the Aquarium of the Pacific you’ve probably heard the term galumphing as a description of how a harbor seal moves on land. In this week’s video I thought I’d give everyone a close up, slow motion view of what the term is describing.

Seals have short front flippers and un-rotatable rear flipper. Thus they cannot walk like sea lions can when they are out of the water. Instead they have to ungulate their bodies to produce forward movement. When they are moving fast on land they sort of resemble a basketball being dribbled or when seen in slow motion, a water balloon that is just about to burst after being dropped.

Check out the video to see what I mean as mammalogist Katie and one of our harbor seals demonstrate Galumphing.