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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
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, suborder Pinnipedia, family Phocidae.
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