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Fur Seal

Fur Seal Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyOtariidae
GenusArctocephalus
Scientific NameArctocephalinae
TypeMammal
DietCarnivore
Size (L)1.5m - 2m (59in - 79in)
Weight105kg - 300kg (230lbs - 661lbs)
Top Speed44km/h (27mph)
Life Span12 - 18 years
LifestyleHerd
Conservation StatusThreatened
ColourBrown, Black, Grey
Skin TypeFur
Favourite FoodSquid
HabitatCold waters and rocky land
Average Litter Size1
Main PreySquid, Fish, Birds
PredatorsLeopard Seal, Sharks, Killer Whale
Distinctive FeaturesExternal ear flaps and stocky build

Fur Seal Location

Map of Fur Seal Locations

Fur Seal

There are eight different species of fur seal found in the worlds oceans. Only one of these fur seal species is found in the northern hemisphere with the remaining seven species of fur seal found in the southern hemisphere.

Fur seals are much more closely related to sea lions than true seals, and like sea lions the fur seal has external ears (many species of true seal are in fact earless). The fur seal also has relatively long and muscular foreflippers, and fur seals are also able to walk on all fours when the fur seals reach land.

The fur seals most distinctive characteristic is the fur seals thick underfur which helps to keep the fur seal warm in freezing cold waters. The fur seals fur however has made the fur seal a long-time object of commercial hunting by humans.

Fur seals tend to return to specific beaches or rocky alcoves to breed which the fur seals do in the summer months. The fur seal pups are sent into the water as soon as the mother fur seal is finished weaning them in order for the fur seal pups to learn how to hunt.

The fur seal spends most of its time swimming in the open oceans hunting for food. Fur seals feed on fish and plankton but are also prone to hunting squid and eels.

The fur seal is often targeted prey for large aquatic animals such as sharks, killer whales, sea lions and occasionally the larger adult leopard seals.