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While captive seals can be seen clapping in zoos and aquariums, scientists say this is the first time one of their wild counterparts has been caught on camera performing the action

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A wild grey seal has been caught "clapping" on camera for the first time, making sounds that resemble "shotgun-like cracks".

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The large male was filmed striking its flippers together off the coast of the Farne Islands, during the breeding season in 2017.

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While captive seals can be seen clapping in zoos and aquariums, scientists say this is the first time one of their wild counterparts has been caught on camera performing the action.

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While humans clap to applaud or express approval, in the case of wild grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), this gesture signifies quite the opposite.

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Scientists believe male seals clap to demonstrate their strength, as part of an attempt to ward off competitors and attract potential mates.

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Wild grey seal caught clapping on camera

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The action produces a "loud high-frequency noise", sending out "a clear signal" to other males in the area.

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In the video, the male seal can be seen swimming close to a female, with other males lurking nearby, before it starts clapping.

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Dr Ben Burville, a researcher at the University of Newcastle, who took the footage, said: "The effect of the clap was instant and the rival males rapidly dispersed.

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"The clap was incredibly loud and at first I found it hard to believe what I had seen."

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Dr Burville, who had been trying for many years to capture clapping seals on camera, added: "I've heard the distinctive shotgun-like cracks many times over the years and I felt sure this clapping behaviour was the source, but filming the seals in action has eluded me for 17 years.

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Wild grey seal caught clapping on camera

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Spider spins mysterious 'Silkhenge' structure in unbelievable footage 

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"Then one day I had heard a couple of claps in the distance, I just hit the record button and eureka! I got it!"

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The video is part of an international study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

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Dr David Hocking, from Monash University in Australia, who led the study, said: "The discovery of 'clapping seals' might not seem that surprising, after all, they're famous for clapping in zoos and aquaria.

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"But where zoo animals are often trained to clap for our entertainment – these grey seals are doing it in the wild of their own accord."

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Wild grey seal caught clapping on camera

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nAnimal stories n

 

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The researchers say understanding more about grey seals and other marine life could help protect the species against the harmful effects of pollution.

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Dr Hocking added: "Clapping appears to be an important social behaviour for grey seals, so anything that disturbed it could impact breeding success and survival for this species.

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"Human noise pollution is known to interfere with other forms of marine mammal communication, including whale song.

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"But if we do not know a behaviour exists, we cannot easily act to protect it."

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seal”,”relevance”:0.635813},{“count”:1,”text”:”Dr Burville”,”relevance”:0.620467},{“count”:1,”text”:”Dr David Hocking”,”relevance”:0.604126},{“count”:1,”text”:”couple of claps”,”relevance”:0.580192},{“count”:1,”text”:”large male”,”relevance”:0.569674},{“count”:3,”text”:”first time”,”relevance”:0.568218},{“count”:1,”text”:”Monash University”,”relevance”:0.556388},{“count”:2,”text”:”wild counterparts”,”relevance”:0.555387},{“count”:1,”text”:”case of wild grey seals”,”relevance”:0.549879},{“count”:1,”text”:”Dr Hocking”,”relevance”:0.543927},{“count”:1,”text”:”clap”,”relevance”:0.53839},{“count”:1,”text”:”clear signal”,”relevance”:0.536121},{“count”:1,”text”:”marine life”,”relevance”:0.534334},{“count”:1,”text”:”male seals”,”relevance”:0.531058},{“count”:1,”text”:”Halichoerus grypus”,”relevance”:0.530176},{“count”:3,”text”:”zoos”,”relevance”:0.52863},{“count”:1,”text”:”University of Newcastle”,”relevance”:0.525836}],”analyzed_text”:”While captive seals can be seen clapping in zoos and aquariums, scientists say this is the first time one of their wild counterparts has been caught on camera performing the actionnA wild grey seal has been caught “clapping” on camera for the first time, making sounds that resemble “shotgun-like cracks”.nThe large male was filmed striking its flippers together off the coast of the Farne Islands, during the breeding season in 2017.nWhile captive seals can be seen clapping in zoos and aquariums, scientists say this is the first time one of their wild counterparts has been caught on camera performing the action.nWhile humans clap to applaud or express approval, in the case of wild grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), this gesture signifies quite the opposite.nScientists believe male seals clap to demonstrate their strength, as part of an attempt to ward off competitors and attract potential mates.n People are freaking out after hearing the strange noise koalas make n Your cat could eat you if you die as study shows felines feast on human corpses nThe action produces a “loud high-frequency noise”, sending out “a clear signal” to other males in the area.nIn the video, the male seal can be seen swimming close to a female, with other males lurking nearby, before it starts clapping.nDr Ben Burville, a researcher at the University of Newcastle, who took the footage, said: “The effect of the clap was instant and the rival males rapidly dispersed.n”The clap was incredibly loud and at first I found it hard to believe what I had seen.”nDr Burville, who had been trying for many years to capture clapping seals on camera, added: “I’ve heard the distinctive shotgun-like cracks many times over the years and I felt sure this clapping behaviour was the source, but filming the seals in action has eluded me for 17 years.n Spider spins mysterious ‘Silkhenge’ structure in unbelievable footage n”Then one day I had heard a couple of claps in the distance, I just hit the record button and eureka! I got it!”nThe video is part of an international study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.nDr David Hocking, from Monash University in Australia, who led the study, said: “The discovery of ‘clapping seals’ might not seem that surprising, after all, they’re famous for clapping in zoos and aquaria.n”But where zoo animals are often trained to clap for our entertainment – these grey seals are doing it in the wild of their own accord.”n Animal stories nThe researchers say understanding more about grey seals and other marine life could help protect the species against the harmful effects of pollution.nDr Hocking added: “Clapping appears to be an important social behaviour for grey seals, so anything that disturbed it could impact breeding success and survival for this species.n”Human noise pollution is known to interfere with other forms of marine mammal communication, including whale song.n”But if we do not know a behaviour exists, we cannot easily act to protect 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  • ScienceWild grey seal seen ‘clapping’ for the first time to seduce a mate

    While captive seals can be seen clapping in zoos and aquariums, scientists say this is the first time one of their wild counterparts has been caught on camera performing the action

      A wild grey seal has been caught "clapping" on camera for the first time, making sounds that resemble "shotgun-like cracks".

      The large male was filmed striking its flippers together off the coast of the Farne Islands, during the breeding season in 2017.

      While captive seals can be seen clapping in zoos and aquariums, scientists say this is the first time one of their wild counterparts has been caught on camera performing the action.

      While humans clap to applaud or express approval, in the case of wild grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), this gesture signifies quite the opposite.

      Scientists believe male seals clap to demonstrate their strength, as part of an attempt to ward off competitors and attract potential mates.

      Wild grey seal seen 'clapping' for the first time to seduce a mate
      (Image: PA)

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      The action produces a "loud high-frequency noise", sending out "a clear signal" to other males in the area.

      In the video, the male seal can be seen swimming close to a female, with other males lurking nearby, before it starts clapping.

      Dr Ben Burville, a researcher at the University of Newcastle, who took the footage, said: "The effect of the clap was instant and the rival males rapidly dispersed.

      "The clap was incredibly loud and at first I found it hard to believe what I had seen."

      Dr Burville, who had been trying for many years to capture clapping seals on camera, added: "I've heard the distinctive shotgun-like cracks many times over the years and I felt sure this clapping behaviour was the source, but filming the seals in action has eluded me for 17 years.

      The large male was filmed striking its flippers together off the coast of the Farne Islands, during the breeding season in 2017
      (Image: PA)

      • Spider spins mysterious 'Silkhenge' structure in unbelievable footage

      "Then one day I had heard a couple of claps in the distance, I just hit the record button and eureka! I got it!"

      The video is part of an international study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

      Dr David Hocking, from Monash University in Australia, who led the study, said: "The discovery of 'clapping seals' might not seem that surprising, after all, they're famous for clapping in zoos and aquaria.

      "But where zoo animals are often trained to clap for our entertainment – these grey seals are doing it in the wild of their own accord."

      An infographic showing a grey seal's 'clapping' movements
      (Image: PA)

      The researchers say understanding more about grey seals and other marine life could help protect the species against the harmful effects of pollution.

      Dr Hocking added: "Clapping appears to be an important social behaviour for grey seals, so anything that disturbed it could impact breeding success and survival for this species.

      "Human noise pollution is known to interfere with other forms of marine mammal communication, including whale song.

      "But if we do not know a behaviour exists, we cannot easily act to protect it."

      Sourse: www.mirror.co.uk

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