How a Wayward Antarctic Seal Ended Up on a Brazilian Beach
The young animal did not survive its journey, but provided an astonishing case study for biologists.
The Brazilian Navy spotted something unusual in the azure waters of the South Atlantic.
In 2015, at a remote outpost and biological research station on the island of Trindade, 725 miles off central Brazil, sailors spotted a small gray seal swimming in the waves.
Two days later, they found its body on the island’s Calheta beach. Scientists who took a closer look made an astonishing discovery—the corpse was a young Weddell seal, according to a new study.
The polar animal had traveled more than 3,200 miles north of its Antarctic habitat—and more than 1,000 miles beyond the farthest north the species was previously recorded in Uruguay. (Read how baby harp seals are being crushed by melting ice.)
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