Isu Learns to Swim Book


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“Isu Learns to Swim- The Story of a Northern Elephant Seal Pup in California” is an award-winning children’s book by Charmaine Coimbra. This is a factual story about how northern elephant seal pups must learn to survive on their own when their mothers leave them on the beach, at only one month of age. Exquisite full-color images help bring this amazing story to life. Soft cover, 27 pages, 8×10 inches.

  • Do mothers just have one pup?

    There is no record of any northern elephant seal having more than one pup. Pups need to grow from 60 to 80 pounds at birth up to around 300 pounds in just one month. Mothers, who don’t eat while nursing, don’t have the physical resources to get more than one pup to that weight in this limited time period.
  • How long do the pups spend with their mothers?

    Mothers spend about one month with their pup. Their milk is among the richest of any mammal, averaging 55% fat. At the start of lactation, the fat content is lower and the water content higher. By the end of lactation, the fat content reaches 65% and has the consistency of mayonnaise. Human milk is 2 to 4% fat, cow’s milk 3 to 6%. The pups go from 60 to 80 pounds at birth to 250 to 330 pounds at weaning, quadrupling their birth weight.
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