The Caspian seal Pusa caspica (Gmelin, 1788) is the only marine mammal in the Caspian, an endemic species (i.e. inhabiting only there and nowhere else), and the smallest seal in the world. The body length of an adult animal is of 120-140 cm and weight – 60-90 kg. It tends to live in groups, migrates to the northern part of the sea in late autumn, where produces offspring and moults on ice fields. The gestation period lasts 11 months, usually one puppy is born a year. Acoustic and visual signals are of great importance for the communication of parents and pups. It feeds on fish and crustaceans. Dives to the depth of 80 meters, lives up to 30 years. The Caspian seal is an endangered species. | IUCN Red List

The illustration by Smirin V.M., an outstanding Soviet zoologist (1931-1989), Biodiversity Conservation Center.

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