SEAL| |HARBOR SEAL| |ELEPHANT
SEAL| |WHITE-WINGED SCOTER|
FACT SHEET AS PDF
|SURF SCOTER| |PACIFIC
HALIBUT| |BLACK BEAR|
HARBOR SEAL TAXONOMY
||Anima = soul, spirit
|| Chord = a string,
musical instrument. Chordata = having a notocord or
||Mamm = breast,
||Carn = flesh
||Pinna (penna) =
a wing, also a feather. Ped = a foot
are also known as "true seals"
||Greek word meaning
||vitula = "calf"
and inas = "like"
Ocean population **We have these**
||--west North Atlantic
population **we have these*
||--east North Atlantic
on isolated island
on isolated island
distribution in Northern hemisphere; in Atlantic,
Western populations concentrating from Greenland to
Hudson Bay (Massachusetts) but can be found as far
south as Florida, Eastern populations ranging from
Norway to southern France; in Pacific, populations
range from Baja, CA to Nome, AK including Aleutian,
Pribilof, and Commander Island chains.
whales, sharks, Steller sea lions, bears, coyotes,
and benthic fish (capelin, herring, pollock), cephalopods
(squid), crustaceans, eels, and mollusks--wild animals
may consume 6-8% of their body weight in food per
4 to 6 feet in length,100-180 Kg
Females: 4 to 5 feet in length, 60-110 Kg
Pups: 2.5 to 3 feet in length, 8-12 Kg
|| The oldest
recorded captive animals have lived to be 32 and 26
for females and males, respectively. In the wild,
their life span is shorter (15-20 years) due to predation
and availability of food.
seals reach sexual maturity at 3-7 years of age.
Breeding males will defend a group of females and
follow that group through different territories.
Copulation usually occurs in the water. Once the
animals have mated, the gestation period is about
10 months. Females will give birth to one pup per
season and will nurse that pup for about 2-6 weeks.
Pups begin to lose their lanugo (birth coat) in the
womb and continue to shed for a few weeks after birth.
Markings of an adult are present after shedding.
The blubber layer of a newborn is about 1.3 cm and
will grow rapidly during nursing. Pups are able to
swim almost immediately after birth. Pupping season
varies with different populations, but in general
occurs between Feb. and Sept., with most births in
June. Pups are born on rocks, sandbanks, intertidal
zones, and ice. Mating occurs shortly after the
female gives birth, but implantation of the egg into
the uterine lining is delayed for 1.5-3 months.
|| An annual
molt will occur between May and October (varying with
population) in which the animal will lose old hair
and grow a new coat. The new coat has a bluish tinge,
where the older hair is browner in color. There may
be seasonal travels to follow food, but most animals
stay in the same area year round.
Fore Flippers: used mostly for steering
while in the water and pulling their bodies along
while on land (have nails to help move around on
the rocks / ice as well as for defense). Phocids
also use their front flippers to scratch.
Rear Flippers: used for propelling through
the water; animal uses a lateral motion where one
flipper will close while the other sweeps through
the water in a back and forth motion. These also
have nails, which are not known to serve any purpose.
Whiskers (also called vibrissae): three
types; supracilliary (above the eye), rhinal
(above the nose), mystachial (beside the
nose---most noticeable). These are the main tactile
structures and are used during navigation, foraging,
****Phocids lack external ear pinnae (ear flaps)---this
does not affect their ability to hear.
****Phocids can not support their body weight on
their front flippers like a sea lion. On land they
“hop” along or “inch worm” on their bellies.
Phocids (including harbor seals) are more abundant
than Otariids (sea lions). This is mostly due to
the fact that Phocids tend to live in more productive
Phocids have blubber as insulation.
Harbor seals can swim up to speeds of 2-6 meters
per second, utilizing 60-78 flipper beats per minute.
Phocids have a hearing range of 10-30 kHz in the
water and 3-10 kHz in the air.
**People have a hearing range of 20 Hz – 20
kHz with 20 kHz being the threshold of pain
**Harbor Seals spend much of their time
hovering on the water’s surface because their blubber
makes them buoyant.
has seven Harbor Seals, three males and four females.
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