A. W. Roberts
1880 Scientific American  
The bladder·nose seal, or crested seal (Oystophora cristata), is an il1habitant of Southern Greenlanrl. From September to March it frequents Davis's Straits for the purpose of bear ing and rearing Its young, and returning with its offspring in June, in very worn-out and poor condition. In July it takes another excursion, employing its time in regaining its health which it lost during the period of its former absence, so that by September it is very fat. Of late years large and well appointed
more » ... amers have been employed in the cap ture of seals, and many hundred thousands of these beauti ful creatures are being murdered every year for their skins and oil. The color of the crested seal, when adult, is a dark blue-black on the back, shading off to a yellowish wbite on the under part of the body. A number of large gray patches are scattered over the body, and in the center of each patch is a dark spot. The head, tail, and feet are black. The crested seal . attains, when full grown, a length of 12 feet, and is stout in proportion. These seals have a hahit of making and preserving holes through the . solid ice, and which communicate with the open water. How these animals manage to pass up these perpendicular openings, the insides of which are perfectly smooth and from four to fi ve feet in depth, seems wonderful, yet they accomplish this feat with entire ease. The cyst or crest is common to the male seal only. It extends from the mouth over the upper jaw and the larger portion of the head. It ' can be inflated with air and emptied at will. When filled it forms a bag or cushion-like protuberance of 25 centimeters in length and 20 centimeters in height. When
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican09251880-199 fatcat:c44xmsgd6beuvktsvpxoprdhme