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seal (in zoology)

seal, carnivorous aquatic mammal with front and hind feet modified as flippers, or fin-feet. The name seal is sometimes applied broadly to any of the fin-footed mammals, or pinnipeds, including the walrus, the eared seals (sea lion and fur seal), and the true seals, also called earless seals, hair seals, or phocid seals. More narrowly the term is applied only to true seals. The so-called performing seal of circuses is actually a sea lion.

Characteristic Features of All Seals

Pinnipeds have streamlined bodies, rounded in the middle and tapered at the ends, with a thick layer of fat beneath the skin. Their limbs are short and their feet are long and webbed, forming flippers. The sea lions and fur seals (family Otariidae) and the walrus (family Odobenidae) are able to turn their hind flippers forward for walking on land; they swim chiefly by a rowing action of the long front flippers. The true seals (family Phocidae) are unable to rotate the hind flippers. They progress on land by wriggling on their bellies, pulling themselves with the short front flippers; in the water they are propelled by a side-to-side sweeping action of the hind flippers.

Nearly all pinnipeds are marine, and most inhabit cold or temperate regions. Some spend most of the year in the open ocean, while others inhabit coastal waters and spend varying amounts of time on shores, islands, or ice floes. Occasionally they ascend rivers. All pinnipeds leave the water at least once a year, at breeding time. In nearly all species the females give birth a year after mating, so that the births take place on land, just before breeding begins. The pups are nursed during the period, usually of several months duration, spent on land. Some species spend most of the year far from their breeding grounds; the northern fur seals make particularly lengthy migrations each year. Most pinnipeds have diets of fish and shellfish; many are bottom feeders, with physiological adaptations for deep diving. They have acute hearing and some, if not all, make use of echolocation (sonar) for underwater navigation.

True Seals

True seals are called earless seals because they lack external ear projections; they have functional inner ears. They have short, coarse hair, usually with a close, dense undercoat. Their color and pattern vary with the species; many are spotted. The pups of most species have fluffy coats of a light color. True seals are generally polygamous and gregarious, but most do not form harems at breeding time, as do the eared seals. Some species have definite migrations, but in most the seals spread out after breeding, singly or in groups, over a wide area of ocean. Some polar species migrate in winter to avoid the advancing ice; members of other species winter under the ice, surfacing through holes to breathe.

Most true seal species fall into one of three geographical groups: northern, antarctic, and warm-water species. Nearly all are marine, but the Baykal seal (Pusa siberica) is confined to the freshwater Lake Baykal of Siberia, and the Caspian seal (P. caspica) to the brackish Caspian Sea. In addition several populations of the normally marine harbor seals and ringed seals are found in freshwater lakes. The northern seals include two species of temperate coastal waters: the common seal, or harbor seal, of the N Atlantic and N Pacific, and the larger gray seal of the N Atlantic. The former is the only seal frequently seen off U.S. coasts. The Greenland seal, or harp seal, is found in the arctic Atlantic; the ribbon seal in the arctic Pacific. The small ringed seal and the larger bearded seal are circumpolar arctic species. Antarctic seals include the voracious leopard seal, which feeds on penguins and other sea birds, and the Ross, Weddell, and crabeater seals. The warm-water seals are the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Hawaiian species of monk seal. A fourth group includes the elephant seal and hooded seal. There are two elephant seal species, one of the Northern and one of the Southern Hemisphere. They are distinguished by their immense size and trunklike snouts. The hooded seal, distinguished by an inflatable bladder over the snout, is found in the arctic Atlantic.

Sealing

Seals have been used by the Eskimo and other northern hunting peoples for food, oil, and hides. Commercial sealing has been largely confined to a few species, most notably the fur seal. Commercially important species of true seals are the harp seal, whose pups are valued for their fluffy white coats, and the ringed seal. The hunting of these seals is regulated by international treaties, and they are not in danger of extinction. The elephant seals were formerly hunted for oil and almost exterminated, but they are now protected and are stabilized or increasing in numbers. The monk seals have been greatly depleted by hunting in past centuries and their survival is threatened, although they are no longer of commercial importance. The Caribbean monk seal is believed by some authorities to be extinct. The ribbon seal and Ross seal are not much hunted; estimates of their populations have varied considerably, but they are not thought to be endangered.

Classification

Seals are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, suborder Pinnipedia.

Bibliography

See B. Davies, Savage Luxury: The Slaughter of the Baby Seals (1971); V. B. Scheffer, The Year of the Seal (1972); J. E. King, Seals of the World (2d ed. 1983); R. L. Gentry and E. L. Kooyman, Fur Seals (1986).

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"seal (in zoology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"seal (in zoology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seal-zoology

Seal

SEAL

Born: Sealhenry Olumide Samuel; Paddington, London, England, 19 February 1963

Genre: Rock, R&B

Best-selling album since 1990: Seal (1994)

Hit songs since 1990: "Crazy," "Kiss from a Rose," "Prayer for the Dying"


Fusing techno dance rhythms with classic soul, Seal was one of the most commercially successful English R&B acts of the late 1990s.

Born to Brazilian and Nigerian parents, Seal grew up in England along with his five brothers. He graduated from school with an architectural degree and bounced around in odd jobs before joining an English funk band called Push. Push's tour itinerary took Seal as far as Japan; he later joined a blues band in Thailand and spent time in India as well.

Returning to England, Seal found the London club scene and radio waves dominated by the electronic beats and ambient sounds of techno music. Seal hooked up with techno producer Adamski and provided lyrics and vocals for Adamski's demo "Killer." Released to clubs and later to radio, "Killer" became a Top 15 hit in the United Kingdom and established Seal as an up-and-coming artist.

Sire Records signed Seal to a recording contract and released his self-titled debut album in 1991. The single "Crazy" was an immediate sensation. Though at heart a soulful song, "Crazy" sets Seal apart from traditional R&B artists with its pulsing back beat and detached, otherworldly vocal. The unique sound and memorable hook ("But we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy") made "Crazy" an international hit; the single reached the Top 15 in the United Kingdom and the Top 10 in the United States. Seal also became somewhat of a visual icon on MTV, as the singer's lanky six-foot-four-inch frame, dreadlocks, and distinctive facial scars from a childhood skin ailment made him an instantly recognizable figure, particularly cast against the stark background of the promotional video for "Crazy." The success of "Crazy" spurred sales of Seal to more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.

Seal's debut earned him the respect of critics as well as members of the rock elite. In 1993 he appeared on Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix, covering Hendrix's "Manic Depression" along with British guitar legend Jeff Beck. Seal also appeared as a vocalist on folk icon Joni Mitchell's album Turbulent Indigo (1995).

Seal's much-anticipated second album, also self-titled, was even more successful than its predecessor. At first, the album was a slow mover, with the single "Prayer for the Dying" barely denting the Top 40. "Prayer for the Dying" features Seal contemplating various forms of death ("Fearless people / Careless needle / Harsh words spoken / And lives are broken / Forceful ageing / Help me I'm fading / Heaven's waiting"); the song's morbid subject matter, coupled with the lack of a big chorus in the fashion of "Crazy," prevented "A Prayer for the Dying" from becoming the anticipated hit lead single. Seal (1994) did not take off until the track "Kiss from a Rose" appeared on the soundtrack to the film Batman Forever (1995). An ornate ballad with lush, classically styled strings, "Kiss from a Rose" features an impassioned Seal celebrating his romantic lover: "Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey / Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels yeah / Now that your rose is in bloom / A light hits the gloom on the grey." Seal (1994) sold 5 million copies on the strength of its hit single, which landed at number one on the pop charts and also spent twelve weeks atop the adult contemporary charts. Seal won critical plaudits for his work, earning Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance honors at the 1996 Grammy Awards.

Seal struck commercial gold again with a movie soundtrack when he covered Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" for the film Space Jam (1996). Seal's airy version of "Fly Like an Eagle," replete with electronic drum machines, was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard singles chart.

Seal released his third album in 1998. Human Being was a commercial disappointment, briefly appearing in the Top 20 on the album charts before quickly falling into obscurity. In the years following the release of Human Being, Seal kept a relatively low profile, appearing only as a guest vocalist on other artists' albums, including Santana's Shaman (2002).

Though his recorded output was meager by most standards, Seal nevertheless developed into one of the most groundbreaking artists of the 1990s, offering a unique and forward-looking spin on the time-honored R&B genre.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Seal (Sire, 1991); Seal (Sire, 1994); Human Being (Warner Bros., 1998). Soundtracks: Batman Forever (1995). Soundtrack: Space Jam (1996).

scott tribble

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"Seal." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Seal." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/seal

Seal

SEAL

To close records by any type of fastening that must be broken before access can be obtained. An impression upon wax, wafer, or some other substance capable of being impressed.

The use of seals began at a time when writing was not common, but when every person of means possessed a coat-of-arms or other distinctive device. Great significance was attached to the use of seals as a means of distinguishing persons. With the spread of education, the signature on an instrument became more important than the seal, and seals lost their former dignity and importance.

Modern judicial decisions minimize or eliminate the distinctions between sealed and unsealed instruments, and most statutes have abolished the use of seals. Other statutes abolishing the use of private seals do not make sealed instruments unlawful, but merely render the seals ineffective. In jurisdictions that still recognize the use of seals, the seal can assume the form of a wax impression, an impression made on paper, or a gummed sticker attached to the document. The letters L.S., an abbreviation for the Latin phrase locus sigilli, meaning "the place of the seal," can also be used in place of a material seal, as can the word seal or a statement to the effect that the document is to take effect as a sealed instrument.

Seals are currently used for authenticating documents, such as birth and marriage records and deeds to real property. They are also used to authenticate signatures witnessed by a notary public and in formalizing corporate documents.

In regard to contracts, at common law a promise under seal was enforceable without the necessity of legal consideration—something of value—either because the seal was a substitute for consideration or because the existence of consideration was conclusively presumed. Although most states have abolished seals, some states have provided by statute that a seal raises a presumption of consideration. Article 2 of the uniform commercial code (UCC)—a body of law adopted by the states to govern commercial transactions—has eliminated the seal as consideration in commercial sales to which the act is applicable. At one time, the statute of limitations—the prescribed period during which legal proceedings must be instituted—was longer for an action brought on a contract under seal than for one not under seal.

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"Seal." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Seal." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seal

seal

seal Any of several species of carnivorous, primarily marine, aquatic mammals. It feeds on fish, crustaceans, and other marine animals; various species are hunted for meat, hides, oil, and fur. Species of true, earless seals such as the leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), and bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) are included in the family Phocidae. They swim with powerful strokes of their hind flippers and sinuous movements of the whole trunk, but are clumsy on land and move by wriggling. Members of the eared family Otariidae have longer fore flippers used for propulsion, and use all four limbs when moving on land. They include fur seals (genera Callorhinus and Arctocephalus) and species of sea lion. Order Pinnepedia.

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"seal." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"seal." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seal

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seal

seal2 (piece of wax for impressing) a device used in attesting a document. XIII. — AN. seal, OF. seel (mod. sceau) :- L. sigillum small picture, statuette, seal, dim. of signum SIGN.
So seal vb. XIII. — OF. seeler (mod. sceller).

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"seal." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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seal

seal1 aquatic mammal. OE. sḗol-, inflexional form of seolh = MLG. sēl, MDu. seel, zēle, OHG. selah, ON. selr :- Gmc. *selχaz, of unkn. orig.

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"seal." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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seal

seal1 in folklore, seals (as in the legend of the selkie) were believed able to take human form. The name is recorded from Old English, and is of Germanic origin.

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"seal." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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seal

seal See PHOCIDAE.

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"seal." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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seal

sealallele, anele, anneal, appeal, Bastille, Beale, Castile, chenille, cochineal, cockatiel, conceal, congeal, creel, deal, eel, Emile, feel, freewheel, genteel, Guayaquil, heal, heel, he'll, keel, Kiel, kneel, leal, Lille, Lucille, manchineel, meal, misdeal, Neil, O'Neill, ordeal, peal, peel, reel, schlemiel, seal, seel, she'll, spiel, squeal, steal, steel, Steele, teal, underseal, veal, weal, we'll, wheel, zeal •airmobile • Dormobile • snowmobile •Popemobile • bookmobile •automobile • piecemeal •sweetmeal, wheatmeal •fishmeal • inchmeal • cornmeal •wholemeal • bonemeal • oatmeal •kriegspiel • bonspiel • Glockenspiel •newsreel • imbecile • Jugendstil •cartwheel • treadwheel • millwheel •pinwheel • flywheel • gearwheel •waterwheel

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"seal." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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SEAL

SEAL (siːl) US Navy sea-air-land

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