harbor seal


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harbor seal,

most commonly seen sealseal,
carnivorous aquatic mammal with front and hind feet modified as flippers, or fin-feet. The name seal is sometimes applied broadly to any of the fin-footed mammals, or pinnipeds, including the walrus, the eared seals (sea lion and fur seal), and the true seals, also called
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 of the Northern Hemisphere, Phoca vitulina. Harbor seals are found along coasts and in sheltered bays and harbors of North America, Europe, and NE Asia. They range farther south than any other northern seal, being found in North America as far S as New Jersey and S California. They range north to the southernmost limits of the ice cap. Also known as common seals, hair seals, and leopard seals, they enter rivers, and are even found in the Great Lakes. Small seals, they reach a length of up to 6 ft (180 cm) and a weight of up to 250 lb (110 kg). Their coats are gray with white spots or yellowish with gray or black blotches. Harbor seals are solitary hunters; they feed on fish, mollusks, and crustaceans, coming ashore to rest and sleep. They may gather in large numbers on rocks or beaches, especially at the mating season. They are polygamous and the female produces a single pup in early spring. Small colonies of several families each occupy particular locations in the water, usually near rocky shores or islands, and may remain there for many generations. Their greatest enemies are sharks and killer whales. Harbor seals are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, suborder Pinnipedia, family Phocidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
In this study, two of the three animals exposed to the harbor seal virus via respiratory transmission became infected, although symptoms were mild.
Prior investigations of harbor seal diets in the Pacific Northwest have relied primarily on observational studies, stomach content analyses, and especially scat analyses (Scheffer and Slipp, 1944; Everitt et al.
Experimental infection of harbor seals induced clinical signs in as little as 24 hours and naturally infected seals were observed to have died just hours after feeding normally.
For the former, harbor seal pups from five sites were compared for circulating TH concentrations and steady-state mRNA expression levels in skin and blubber biopsy samples.
The California harbor seal population has been steadily increasing, and its distribution has expanded since the 1960's.
To calculate population-level consumption of fish species of conservation concern and other common harbor seal prey in the San Juan Islands, a bioenergetics model was used to determine energetic requirements.
To understand differences in these properties between harbor seals and other marine mammals, we determined patterns of attachment for influenza virus strains known to have infected the respiratory tract of harbor seals, gray seals (Halichoerus grypus), harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Data on the distribution and abundance of harbor seal in Peter the Great Gulf.
The USA 2006 virus was isolated by inoculating homogenized liver tissue from a harbor seal onto VDS cells, which resulted in syncytia formation (Figure 1).
We determined the spatial overlap of one marine predator, the Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) and its prey in the San Francisco Bay estuary (SFB), California, in order to identify foraging areas and seasonal patterns of resource use by this coastal pinniped.
To investigate whether influenza B viruses had continued to circulate in seals, we analyzed serum samples from 615 seals (548 harbor seals [Phoca vitulina] and 67 gray seals [Halichoerus grypus]).
00166-12) "Emergence of Fatal Avian Influenza in New England Harbor Seals.