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SEAL (Phoca), a Linnæan genus of Mammalia, 1 an outer covering. Another adaptation to aquatic now forming the family Phocidoe, and including all life and cold climates appears in a layer of fat that family except the Morse (q. v.), or Walrus. immediately under the skin-from which Seal Oil The name S. is from the Anglo-Saxon Seol. The is obtained-serving not only for support when food Phocido constitute, in Cuvier's system, a section is scarce, but for protection from cold, and at the of Carnivora (q. v.) designated Amphibia. Their same time rendering the whole body lighter. The
nostrils are capable of being readily and completely closed, and are so whilst the S. is under water; and there is a similar provision for the ears ; whilst the eye, which is large, exhibits remarkable peculiarities, supposed to be intended for its adaptation to use both in air and water. The face is provided with strong whiskers, connected at their base with large nerves.
Seals produce their young only once a year; sometimes one, sometimes two, at a birth. Not | long after their birth, the young are conducted by
the mother into the sea. Many, if not all, of the Skeleton of Seal, with outline of the figure.
species are polygamous. Terrible fights occur
among the males. structure is most perfectly adapted to an aquatic
Seals are very much on their guard against the life, and they live chiefly in water, but spend part om
6, approach of man, where they have been much of their time on shore, reposing and basking in the
molested ; but where they have been subjected to sunshine on rocks, sand-banks, icefields, or beaches;
no molestation, they are far from being shy, and and they bring forth their young on shore. The
approach very close to boats, or to men on shore, as body is elongated, and tapers from the chest to the
if animated by curiosity. They are much affected tail; the head somewhat resembles that of a dog, in
log; by musical sounds. A flute is said to attract seals and 'in most of the species the brain is large;
ito a boat, where they have not learned caution from the feet are short, and little more than the paw
sore experience; and the ringing of the church bell projects beyond the skin of the body; all the feet
at Hoy, in Orkney, has very often caused the are thoroughly webbed, and five-toed; the fore-feet
appearance of numerous seals in the little bay. are placed like those of other quadrupeds ; but the
the Seals possess all the five senses in great perfection. hind-feet are directed backwards, like a prolongation The Common S. and some of the other species are of the body, and between them is a short tail. The
very intelligent ; but there is considerable difference toes, particularly those of the hind-feet, are capable in this
in this respect among the species. The Common S. of being spread out very widely in swimming, so as
and some others have often been tamed, and are to give great propulsive power. The movements of
capable of living long in domestication, if freely seals in the water are very rapid and graceful; on
supplied with water. They become very familiar land, they are very peculiar; even the fore-feet being
with those who attend to them, are very fond of little used or not at all, but the body contracted by
caresses and of notice, recognise their name like an upward bending of the spine, and so thrown dogs, and readily learn' many little tricks, of which forward by a succession of jerks; in which way, I advantage has been taken for exhibitions. however, a S. makes its escape very rapidly from an Seals are found in all the colder parts of the assailant. The flexibility of the spine in seals is world, most abundantly in the arctic and antarctic very reinarkable, and depends on the very large regions : some of thein also in temperate climates, as intervertebral cartilages, formed of fibrous concentric far south as the Mediterranean, and as far north as rings. The muscles, which are connected with the the La Plata. Some of them ascend rivers to some spine on all sides, are of great strength.
distance in pursuit of salmon and other fish. They The teeth differ considerably in the different are found in the Caspian Sea, and even in the fresh. genera, but in all are adapted for the seizure of water Lake Baikal. * slippery prey, the chief food of seals being fishes, The species are numerous, but in no group of although they do not reject other animal food, and Mainmalia does more remain for further investigaare said even to feed in part on vegetable substances. tion. Seals are divided into two principal groupsTheir incisors are either six in the upper jaw and Seals, more strictly so called, and Otaries (q. v.); the four in the lower, or four in the upper and two in former distinguished by the complete want of the lower; they all have large and strong canine external ears, which the latter possess, and by their teeth; and the molars, usually five or six on each dentition. The true seals have been further subside in each jaw, are either sharp-edged or conical, divided into genera, chiefly characterised by their and beset with points. Seals have a remarkable dentition. In the restricted genus Phoca, or Calobabit of swallowing large stones, for which nocephalus, the incisors are pointed and sharp-edgedd, probable reason has yet been conjectured. Their six above and four below. The Common S. (Phocu stomachs are very often found to be in part filled vitulina) is found in the northern parts of the with stones. The stomach is quite simple; the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Arctic Ocean. It is gullet (oesophagus) enters it at the left extremity: common on the wilder and more unfrequented the cæcum is short, the intestinal canal long. . of the British coast, particularly in the north. It is
The respiration of seals is extremely slow, about remarkably distinguished, even among its nearest two minutes intervening between one breath and congeners, by the oblique position of the molar another, when the animal is on land and in full teeth. The fur is yellowish, variously spotted, and activity. A S. has been known to remain twenty- | marked with brown. The whole length is from 3 five minutes under water. Their slowness of respira- to 5 feet. Its love of salmon is so great that it tion, and power of suspending it for a considerable has been known to haunt the neighbourhood of time, are of great use, as enabling them to pursue a salmon-net for a long time, and to take the fisb their prey under water. The fur of seals is very after they were entrapped in it. The Common S. is smooth, and abundantly lubricated with an oily generally seen in small herds. Its skin and oil are secretion. There is generally an inner coating of considerable mercantile importance. The skin is of rich fur, through which grow long hairs, forming dressed with the fur on, to make caps, &c., or is
SEALING-WAX_SEAL OF CONFESSION.
tanned and used as leather. The oil, when made (Leptonyx Weddellii), so called from its spotted fur. before decay has begun, is colourless and nearly It is found on the South Orkneys and other very inodorous ; it is much superior to whale-oil. The southern islands. By far the largest of all the seals flesh is much used for food in very northern coun- / is the ELEPHANT S. or Sea Elephant of the southern tries, as is that of all the other species which they seas. See ELEPHANT, SEA. produce. It is not easy to shoot a seal. Whilst Seals are to some extent migratory, although their Aint-locks were in use, the S. always dived so migrations do not extend to very great distances, quickly on seeing the flash as generally to escape and are probably regulated by the abundance or the ball. The popular name SEA-CALF, and the scarcity of food. The time of the return of certain specific name vitulina, have reference to a supposed species to certain coasts is very confidently reckoneil resemblance of the voice to that of a calf. The upon by the natives of the north and hy seal HARP S. (P. Groenlandica) receives its popular hunters.
Seal-hunting--or fishing, as it is often calledrequires great patience and skill. Most of the seals, if not all, are gregarious, and one seems to be | always placed on the watch, where danger is to be apprehended from bears or from hunters. They climb up through holes in the ice-fields of the polar seas, even when there is a height of several feet from the water, but it is difficult for the hunter to get between them and the hole. Nor is seal-hunting unattended with danger, an enraged S. being a formidable antagonist, at least to the inexperienced.
Seal-hunting is the great occupation of the Greenlanders, but it is also extensively prosecuted in other northern parts of the world; great numbers are taken on the coasts of Newfoundland and other northern parts of America ; whale-fishers kill seals as they find opportunity; and vessels are fitted out
expressly for the purpose, from the northern parts Harp Seal (Phoca Grænlandica), attitude on land.
of Europe and of America.
SEALING-WAX. A composition of hard resinname from a large, black, crescent-shaped mark on each side of the back. It is sometimes seen on the
ous materials used for receiving and retaining the British coasts, but belongs chiefly to more northern
impressions of seals. Simple as it may appear, its regions. It is from 6 to 8 or even 9 feet in length. |
manufacture is one of great importance, and formerly - The GREAT S., or BEARDED S. (P. barbata), also
: was far more so than at present--the use of found on the British coasts, and plentiful on the
gummed envelopes having to a great extent super
seded it. Common beeswax was first used in Great coasts of Greenland, is generally about 9 or 10 feet Br
Britain and in Europe generally, being mixed with long, sometimes more. - The Rough or BRISTLED
earthy materials to give it consistency. S. (P. hispida) frequents quiet bays on the coasts les
| less, it was difficult to preserve it, as a very small of Greenland, where many thousands are annually
amount of heat softened it. killed for their skins and oil. It is the smallest of the northern species.- The Gray S. (Halichorus
| The Venetians, however, brought the Indian sealgriscus), which has a very flat head, and attains a fi
ing-wax to Europe, and the Spaniards received it
SEA-LION. See OTARY.
SEA-LION, in Heraldry, a monster consisting of the upper part of a lion combined with the tail of a fish.
SEAL ISLANDS, or LOBOS ISLANDS. See PERU.
SEALKOTE, a town in the Punjab, near the Common Seal (P. vitulina), attitude when swimming. left bank of the Chenab, 65 miles north-north-east
from Lahore. It contains about 20,000 inhabitants, size nearly equal to the Great S., occurs on the and carries on the manufacture of paper. S. was British coasts, but is much more common in more formerly a military station, and at the period of the northern latitudes, and in the Baltic Sea.--The outbreak of the Indian mutiny, there was a rifle. CRESTED S. (Stemmatopus cristatus) is remarkable practice dépôt here. All the European troops had for the elevation of the septum of the nose of the been removed in July 1857 to repress disturbances adult male into a crest, which supports a hood that had broken out elsewhere, and on the 9th of covering the head, and capable of being distended that month the native troops fired on their officers. and elevated or depressed at pleasure. The use of A considerable number of Europeans were killed, this appendage is not known. This S. is plentiful and the survivors suffered great privations until the on the coasts of Greenland and the northern sepoys, having plundered the station, started off in parts of North America. --The seals of the southern | the direction of Delhi. seas are quite distinct from those of the northern. SEAL OF CONFESSION. See CONFESSION One of them is the SEA LEOPARD, or LEOPARD. S. and CONFIDENTIALITY.
SEAMEN are technically those persons below when viewed singly, and moved about in the sun. the rank of officer, who are employed in navigating shine, reflects all the hues of the rainbow. Yet decked vessels on the high seas--men working on sea-mice are generally to be found concealed under lakes and rivers being usually styled watermen.' stones, and dwell amongst the mud at the bottom Two opposite conditions are essential to the well of the sea. Storms frequently throw them on the being of the vessel-first, the absolute subordination beach in great numbers. A very beautiful species, and perfect obedience of the crew to the master; 4. aculeata, of an oval form, about 6 or 8 inches and secondly, their protection against tyranny or long, and 2 or 3 broad, is the Common S. M. of the caprice on his part. For this purpose the law of British coasts. England is extremely minute in the rules laid down SEA PIKE (Centropomus undecimalis), a fish, for both masters and seamen.
which, notwithstanding its popular name, belongs un act of 1845, specially levelled against pimps to the perch family. Its förm, however, is elon. and swindling agents, no person may hire seamen gated like that of the pike. The body is comexcept the owner or master of a ship, and indi
pressed; there are two dorsal fins; the mouth is viduals licensed for that purpose by the Board of not verý larve: and the teeth are numerous Trade. Under the Mercantile Marine Act of 1850, ) and equal. The colour is silvery-white, tinged with a written agreement must be made when a man is
green on the back. It is found on the western engaged, setting forth the nature and length of
coasts of tropical America. It attains a large size, voyage, the capacity in which the man is to be
and is a valuable fish. On the British coasts, the employed, wages, fines, provisions, punishments, &c. name S. P. is sometimes given to the Garfish. If the ship be going abroad, this agreeinent must be
SEA PINK. See THRIFT. attested before a shipping-master, who has a power of periodical inspection over the agreements of all
| SEARCH OF ENCUMBRANCES means the seamen in vessels in his port. Any clause in the inquiry made by a purchaser or mortgagee of lands agreement would be inoperative which deprives the as to the burdens and state of the title, in order to sailor of a lien upon his ship, or of other recovery | see whether his purchase or investment is safe. for his wages, or of rights of salvage. In virtue of Owing to the want of any general system of registhis agreement the seaman is bound to do histration of deeds affecting land in England, it is not utmost in the service of the vessel ; and conse
possible by any search to find out with certainty quently, if a master of a ship in distress promise his
all these burdens; nevertheless, there are some men extra pay for extraordinary exertions, the men
special registers which are usually included in such cannot compel him to fulfil his promise.
searches, such as judgment debts, bankruptcies, In the event of disobedience or insubordina. disentailing deeds, annuity deeds, &c. The search tion the master may administer correction, the
usually goes back for 60 years. In Scotland, where law holding him responsible that such correction
| all the deeds affecting land rights are registered, it is reasonable. Desertion from the ship is punish
is easy to discover the exact state of the title and üble by imprisonment; and deserters may be appre
| burdens on the land. The usual search is made hended on the information of the master without
I only for 40 years. The registers are subdivided warrant. In case of open mutiny, the master may
into various kinds-as the general and particular adopt the most stringent measures.
Register of Sasines, the Record of Abbreviates of The mariners' wages are contingent on the success
Adjudications, Register of Inhibitions, &c. See of the voyage ; consequently, if the ship be lost or
RECORDS. taken, the seamen lose their claim on the owners. SEARCH-WARRANT is an authority granted It is a misdemeanour for the master to leave a to a constable by a justice of the peace to enter the sailor on shore in foreign parts, unless through the premises of a person suspected of secreting stolen man's wrongful act.
goods, in order to discover, and if found to seize the SEA MOUSE (Aphrodite), a genus of dorsibran. | goods; and similar warrants are granted to discover chiate annelida, of the family Aphroditidoe, to all of property in respect of which other offences are
committed. Before such a warrant can be issued, a credible witness must on oath prove a reasonable cause to suspect that the party proceeded against has the property in his possession or in his premises. The name of the person whose premises are to be searched must be correctly described in the warrant.
SEA-SERPENT. There are in the tropical and sub-tropical seas from the southern coasts of Asia to the South Sea Islands, numerous sea-serpents, which in so far as they are yet known, are all veno
mous, and belong to the family Hydride (q. v.). Sea Mouse (Aphrodite aculeata).
None of them, however, is known to exceed 5
feet or thereby in length, so that their existence which the popular name is extended. They are cannot account for the stories which from time to readily distinguished by two longitudinal ranges of time have been published of the appearance of a broad membranous scales covering the back, under Great Sea-serpent, which, moreover, generally relate which are the gills in the form of little fleshy crests. to the Atlantic Ocean, where none of the Hydridæ The scales move up and down as the animal respires; have yet been found. It is still doubtful whother and are concealed by a substance resembling tow or or not the Great Sea-serpent ought to be reckoned felt, which permits the access of water but excludes among creatures merely fabulous or imaginary. mud and sand. The head is furnished with ten- | Pontoppidan speaks of it in his Natural History of tacles; some have two eyes and some four. The Norway, assigning to it a length of 600 feet, and body is edged with spines. Besides all this, its describes it, not from personal observation, however, sides are covered with flexible bristles or silky but from the testimony of others, as lying in the hairs, which give to these creatures a wonderful water in many folds, and appearing like many hogsbeauty of colour, unsurpassed by that of humming- heads floating in a line, at a considerable distance birds or the most brilliant gems. Each hair, even from each other. Such a creature is said to have