Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

Acrylic on illustration board

Harbor seals are considered true seals as they do not have an external ear flap. They are the most wide-ranging of the pinnepeds or fin-footed mammals, a group which also contains walruses, sea lions and fur seals. They can be seen resting on rocky areas along the marine coasts of the Northern hemisphere and their range includes the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Baltic and North Seas. Adults can grow to over six feet and 300 pounds. Males often compete for mates in underwater battles and females bear a single pup at a time, raising them without the male. Harbor seals spend as much time in water as on land and can even sleep under water. They have been known to dive as deep as 1500 feet. Like all marine mammals, harbor seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

For more about this species, visit the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Fisheries >>

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