monachus guardian monk seal

Dedicated to Monk Seals and their Threatened Habitats


Monk Seal Fact Files

Mediterranean Monk Seal

(Monachus monachus)


Sight and hearing

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Monachus monachus possesses relatively keen sight and hearing underwater (Dunn ed. 1978, King 1983). On land, by contrast, these faculties appear to diminish. Generally, moving objects are thought to be better perceived than motionless ones.

While asleep, monk seals do not appear to be particularly sensitive to sound. In ancient times, in fact, the animals were renowned for their deep sleep – a trait which made them particularly vulnerable to hunters (Johnson & Lavigne 1999a).

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