We’re going to show you the differences between a seal vs otter. Learn how to tell them apart quickly and easily!
The key differences between seals and otters are size, family, and their method of thermoregulation. Although seals and otters are often believed to be related, the truth is that they belong to completely different families.
Seals are larger than otters on average, and the largest members of the species make otters look positively tiny. The elephant seal can weigh up to 6,000lbs and grows 20ft long. The largest otter, the river otter, only weighs about 100lbs when it reaches its full weight, and it grows about 6ft long.
Seals belong to the Phocidae family, and otters belong to the Mustelidae family. Members of Phocidae are known as earless seals or true seals. They are mammals without fur as adults.
True seals use blubber deposits under their skin to keep themselves warm when they’re in the water, which is quite often. Otters use two layers of dense fur to keep warm when they are submerged in the water, and that is most of their lives.