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Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)

Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)

harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

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

About The Harbor Seal

This species is gregarious; on land it forms groups to breed, rest and moult that are generally small but may number up to 1,000 individuals (5). Common seals feed mainly on a variety of fish, but squids, whelks, crabs and mussels are also taken. Juveniles feed on shrimps before progressing to the adult diet (2). When feeding, common seals travel up to 50 kilometres from haul-out sites to feed and may stay out at sea for days. They can dive for up to 10 minutes, and reach depths of 50 metres or more (3). With regards to breeding, there is apparently no social organisation, but females often give birth in small groups (7). Females give birth to a single pup at the end of June to early July (8). The pups weigh 11 to 12 kilograms at birth and are able to swim and crawl almost immediately (2). Pups are nursed for about four weeks, after which they may disperse over long distances (5). Around the time that the pup is weaned, females become receptive and copulation occurs. Males frequently engage in underwater displays and fights around this time and can lose up to 25 percent of their body weight (5).

Rights Holder: Wildscreen

Trips Where Observed

Alaska 2010
Queen Charlotte Islands
San Francisco 2007

Member Lifelists

North America
San Francisco
United States

Sites Where Observed

Trying to eat some kind of flat fish.
Seen outside the park in the bay.
We observed two of the seals herding a school of fish onto the shore for an easy meal.
Seen near the beach in Half Moon Bay


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