Harbor Seal

Created on Day 5

Design

Like other marine mammals, the harbor seal has a lower heart rate than land-dwelling mammals. Its body also has the ability to “transfer” blood supply to its vital organs when diving. It also has more blood than a land-dwelling mammal of comparable size, which allows it to retain more oxygen. These features are probably adaptations of the original created kind since the temperatures on land and in the ocean drastically changed following the global Flood and the Ice Age.

Features

  • The harbor seal is covered by a coat of short, thick hairs. These hairs are white to black.
  • Its back is covered with darker spots or rings.
  • It also has four webbed flippers that help it move through the water. The hind flippers move from side to side propelling it forward in the water and the front flippers are used for steering.

Fun Facts

  • This seal is also known as the common seal.
  • The harbor seal can dive to depths exceeding 600 ft (185 m) and can remain submerged for over 20 minutes.
  • The harbor seal cannot walk on all four limbs like a sea lion. It moves awkwardly on land, but is well-suited for the water environment.
  • One way to tell a seal from a sea lion is that the seal has no visible ear flaps.

CLASS: Mammalia (mammal)

ORDER: Carnivora (meat-eating)

SUBORDER: Pinnipedia (fin-footed)

FAMILY: Phocidae (true seals)

GENUS/SPECIES: Phoca vitulina; four or five subspecies

Size: 6.5 ft (2 m)

Weight: 110–375 lbs (50–170 kg); males larger than females

Diet: Squid, crustaceans, mollusks, and a variety of fish

Habitat: Coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; also in the Baltic Sea and North Sea