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True Seals: Phocidae

Physical Characteristics, True Seals And People, Conservation Status, Harp Seal (pagophilus Groenlandicus:): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION

HARP SEAL (Pagophilus groenlandicus:): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL (Mirounga angustirostris): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL (Monachus schauinslandi): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

True seals inhabit all oceans, except the Indian Ocean. Some species live in inland lakes in Siberia, Russia, and Finland.

True seals forage, search for food, at sea, but haul out (get out of the water) to land to breed, molt, or shed fur, and rest. They prefer ice floes, large sheets of floating ice, or fast ice, ice attached to a land mass. They also inhabit sand, cobble, and boulder beaches, as well as caves and rocky outcrops.

True seals eat mostly fish. They also feed on krill, squid, octopuses, and other seals.

True seals congregate on land or ice to breed and molt. The males and females of some species migrate, travel, separately from breeding to foraging areas. Others species do not migrate. Only the male elephant seals and gray seals gather groups of females during the breeding season. In some species, cows, females, nurse their young for just a few days, fattening up the pup, and then letting it fend for itself.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals