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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)




Harbor Seal | Phoca vitulina photo
Harbor Seal pup. The photographer, Gale, is a research associate at Allied Whale and was involved in the rescue of this pup. There is an interesting story and photos of the rescue on Gale's Flickr page

Photograph by Gale McCullough. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Harbor Seal | Phoca vitulina photo
Harbor Seal at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands, California. The Centre takes care of sick and injured marine mammals

Photograph by Gina Sanfilippo. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Harbor Seal | Phoca vitulina photo
Harbor Seal pup at Villa Creek, Estero Bluffs, Cayucos, California.

Photograph by Mike Baird. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Harbor Seal | Phoca vitulina photo
Harbor seals in Bluefish Cove, Point Lobos State Reserve

Photograph by Gina Sanfilippo. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

HARBOR SEAL FACTS

Description
The Harbor Seal is the same species as the Common Seal from northern Europe including Britian and Ireland. It varies in color from brownish black to tan or grey with lighter belly. The body has a pattern of fine darker spots on lighter background (or sometimes lighter spots on darker background). The head is large and rounded.

Other Names
Common Seal, Harbour Seal

Size
length 1.8 m males; 1.5 m females

Environment
coastal islands, ledges, beaches and sandbars

Food
crustaceans, molluscs, squid, fish

Breeding
A single pup (usually) is born after gestation of between 9 and 11 months.

Range
The most widespread seal. Found in temperate, subarctic, and arctic coastal areas on both sides of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans

Notes
They can dive as deep as 450m and stay under water for almost half an hour. Dives are more usually to 30 -100m for 5 or 6 minutes.

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Phocidae
Genus:Phoca
Species:vitulina
Common Name:Harbor Seal


Relatives in same Genus
  Ribbon Seal (P. fasciata)
  Harp Seal (P. groenlandica)
  Ringed Seal (P. hispida)
  Spotted Seal (P. largha)