All 33 Types Of Seal: Guide, Pictures And Classification

Seals are arguably one of the most endearing marine mammals on the planet. These cuddly marine animals with puppy-like features may be found in all of the world’s major seas and oceans.

So, how much do you know about the many varieties of seals?

We’ll teach you about all 33 kinds of seals in this article. In this piece, we’ll go over what distinguishes each pinniped species, as well as some fascinating facts about sea lions, fur seals, and walruses. You may then impress your pals with your seal expertise.

Seal Animal FAQ

Here are some of your most frequently asked questions about the different types of seals, and our answers to them:

Are Seals Mammals?

A marine mammal, yes. Seals are not fish, despite living in the ocean and other bodies of water. Seals, like other mammals, have fur, mammary glands, and the ability to take in oxygen.

How Many Seals Are There?

Three families of seals exist, and there are 33 species. In addition, using fossils and other paleontological evidence, scientists have identified at least 50 different extinct types of seals.

What is the Most Common Species of Seal?

One of the most ubiquitous seal species is the harbor seal. It’s thought that there are almost 500,000 individuals in the wild and it can be found in all of the northernmost waters of the Northern Hemisphere. The Antarctic fur seal, while having a considerably greater range and habitat than the harbor seal, is another frequent species.

What is the Recognizable Type of Seal?

The baby harp seal is perhaps the cutest kind of seal. The gorgeous white pelt of baby harp seals is matched by a dog-like face. Despite the fact that harp seals age, the cuteness of the harp seal pup is unrivaled by other pinnipeds.

The 33 Amazing Types of Seals

Our lovely plant is home to more than two dozen different types of seals. Pinnipedia is the name of the clade that includes all seals. The real seals, eared seals, and walruses are the three surviving families in this group.

Within these three families, there are a total of 18 seal genera and 33 living seal species. All of the seal species, as well as what makes each one unique, are shown here in a brief overview.

1. True Seals (Phocids)

When people think of a seal, they picture the true seals, also known as phocids. The real seals are all members of the Phocidae family, which contains 18 living species and is sometimes referred to as the earless seals. The true seals are the largest pinniped family, as a result. Each species is described in detail below.

1.1 Mediterranean Monk Seal

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) comes in first place on our list. The only living species of monk seals in the world is the Mediterranean monk seal, which is closely related to the Hawaiian monk seal.

The Mediterranean monk seal has a slender physique and a snout that is broad and largely flat, similar to its Hawaiian relative. The appropriately named Mediterranean monk seal, on the other hand, is mostly found in the Mediterranean Sea. In the northeast Atlantic, between Cabo Blanco and Madeira, this species is found only in non-Mediterranean populations.

Recently, the Mediterranean monk seal has been designated as endangered. The wild is thought to be home to fewer than 700 individuals. The International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) has, however, lowered the species’ worldwide population from critically endangered to endangered in recent years as a result of local conservation actions.

1.2 Hawaiian Monk Seal

The Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi) is a little, greyish pinniped that spends its time on sandy beaches and is the only seal native to the Hawaiian islands. The Hawaiian monk seal is the state mammal of Hawaii, and it is also known as the Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua in Hawaiian.

The majority of the Hawaiian monk seal population is found in the Leeward Islands, which are located in the archipelago’s northwestern corner. On the beaches of the major islands, however, you may also see them resting. Bony fish, crustaceans, and even octopuses are among the foods they favor here.

The Hawaiian monk seal is designated as endangered by the IUCN, as is the case with the Mediterranean monk seal. Most of the seal’s population decline is due to human disturbance of their habitat, despite the fact that it is preyed upon by some species of common sharks like Galapagos shark, great white shark, and tiger shark. The species’ low genetic diversity is a significant threat to its long-term survival.

1.3 Northern Elephant Seal

The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), which lives in the Eastern Pacific, is the biggest of the genuine seals discovered in the Northern Hemisphere. The Channel Islands of California are home to the majority of the species’ major populations. In Mexico and other areas of the eastern Pacific basin, there are smaller populations.

Females seldom weigh more than 1,300 pounds (589 kg) and adult male northern elephant seals may weigh up to 4,400 pounds (1,995 kg). In a single species, this leads to some of the world’s largest sexual dimorphism.

The northern elephant seal also has one of the longest natural migrations of any animal. In reality, one individual has been observed travelling over 13,000 miles (20,921 kilometers) every year!

1.4 Southern Elephant Seal

The world’s biggest pinniped is the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina). In reality, it is the world’s largest non-whale marine mammal. The southern elephant seal weighs roughly the same as several types of elephants, with a maximum weight of nearly 8,800 pounds (4,000 kg).

The southern elephant seal can be found in the Southern Hemisphere, as its name suggests. It is thought that the world has approximately 650,000 people, with the majority of them living in the South Atlantic.

South Georgia is home to one of the world’s largest populations of southern elephant seals. The Subantarctic Islands of the Indian Ocean, as well as Macquarie Island near New Zealand, are home to other notable populations.

Throughout the nineteenth century, these seals were heavily hunted, and the species was on the verge of extinction. The southern elephant seal has had a remarkable recovery since the ban on its hunting.

1.5 Ross Seal

The Ross seal (Ommatophoca rossi) is the only pinniped that exclusively lives on Antarctica’s pack ice and is one of the least-studied seal species in the world.

The 1839–1843 Ross Expedition to Antarctica, led by Sir James Clark Ross, provided the inspiration for the species’ name. Ross visited both the Ross Sea and the Ross Ice Shelf during his voyage, both of which bear his name.

The Ross seal is poorly understood due to its remote habitat, unlike most other pinniped species, which have been extensively documented and studied. Because of its short snout and unusual fur color, the species is simple to identify.

Ross also makes a fantastic vocalization that combines sirens and pitter-patters, which is evident on his seal. In this amazing video of a Ross seal on the Antarctic pack ice, check out some of the pinniped’s vocalization patterns:

1.6 Crabeater Seal

The crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus) is a medium-sized pinniped with a beautiful silvery fur coat that may only be found in coastal waters around Antarctica. The crabeater seal does not consume crabs, despite its name. Rather, it cleans krill from the frigid Southern Ocean using its distinct sieve-like teeth.

Weddell, Ross, and leopard seals are all closely related to the crabeater seal. The leopard seal, on the other hand, is infamous for preying on crabeater seal pups. Crabeater seals are vulnerable to leopard seals even as adults. Fending off hungry leopard seals has left scars on many adult crabeater seals’ flippers.

Crabeater seals are known to travel as far south as New Zealand or Argentina, although they prefer to spend their time on Antarctic pack ice. Because of the species’ preference for remote habitats, it’s currently unknown how healthy the whole crabeater seal population is. Yet, the pinniped is presently listed as a species of low concern by the IUCN.

1.7 Leopard Seal

The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is arguably the most fierce-looking of all the pinnipeds. Only Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters, where it spends the majority of its time hanging out on pack ice, have a pagophilic (ice-loving) seal.

The leopard seal’s snake-like nose and patterned fur make it easy to tell apart from other pinnipeds in its range. It will eat everything from krill and fish to penguins, and even other seals, making it one of the most opportunistic seals. The orca is, in fact, the only non-human predator.

Human interaction with leopard seals has been extensive and complicated. Leopard seals attacking humans have been reported during Antarctic expeditions in the early twentieth century.

Human interaction with leopard seals has been extensive and complicated. Leopard seals attacking humans have been documented in early twentieth-century Antarctic expeditions.

1.8 Weddell Seal

The last of the four genuine seals that may only be found in Antarctic oceans is the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii). James Weddell, a British seal hunter who reached 74º15’S south latitude in 1823, was the inspiration for its name.

Weddell seals are perhaps the most well-known of all Antarctic seal species. It lives primarily on fast ice, particularly in Antarctica’s research stations, for a big percentage of its life. It may be difficult to tell them apart from crabeater seals on occasion. Weddell seals, on the other hand, have a patterned coloration around their neck that resembles the pattern of a traditional Nordic sweater.

Weddell seals are well-known for their distinctive calls, much like Ross seals. Both on land and beneath the water’s surface, they create intriguing noises. Seals are said to make their own distinct tunes that are employed for interaction, particularly between a mother and her kid. To learn more, visit this fascinating video of numerous Weddell seals singing:

1.9 Hooded Seal

The hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) is a unique pinniped that only lives in the North Atlantic Ocean. The organ on the top of its head, which is shaped like a hood, gives it its name. During the mating season, this organ becomes an inflatable bladder that attracts mates.

The hooded seal has a somewhat unusual dispersion when compared to other Atlantic seals. It may be found as far south as the Gulf of St. Lawrence and north to Jan Mayen’s pack ice and Labrador. In the Maritimes, Lawrence is a common name. The hooded seal has been spotted as far south as Maine, and it has been known to migrate along the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

Humans have long hunted hooded seals, although modern-day hunting is mostly for sustenance. Because of the impact of climate change, overfishing, and the disruptive effects of offshore oil and gas drilling, the species is currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.

1.10 Bearded Seal

The bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) is a large marine mammal that lives on the pack ice in the Arctic and is the biggest of northern pinnipeds beside the walrus. Male and female bearded seals have a similar size difference, and it may weigh up to 950 pounds (430 kg).

The bearded seal possesses some facial hair, as the name implies. On its snout, it has a profusion of bristle-like hairs that appear to be well-maintained whiskers.

The red color on the face of a bearded seal distinguishes it from other pinnipeds. Seals sticking their heads in mudflats on the seafloor to look for clams and other food is what gives this red color. The iron in the mud eventually adheres to the seal’s face and, when it swims ashore, reacts with oxygen and turns the seal’s face red.

While they are a species of least concern, bearded seals have many natural predators. Polar bears, walruses, orcas, and Greenland sharks are among the species affected.

1.11 Harbor Seal

The harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) is a pinniped that lives in most of the Atlantic and Pacific seas’ temperate and sub-Arctic regions. It is also known as the common seal. The coat is brown to silver and the seal is medium-sized. The harbor seal’s unique V-shaped nostrils, on the other hand, differentiate it from other species.

The harbor seal is classified as a least-concern species due to its large range. At least 315,000 people are thought to live across the world, with many of them spotted resting on rugged, rocky beaches.

Harbor seals, also known as appropriately named mollusks, anchovies, cod, herring, and other delectable delicacies, spend their time in shallow estuaries and bays.

Harbor seals are impacted significantly by human activity and coastal development in these areas, as they need calm places to molt for breeding. Thankfully, thanks to recent conservation efforts, harbor seals have been able to maintain a decent habitat in areas around some of the world’s busiest ports, such as New York City.

1.12 Spotted Seal

The spotted seal (Phoca largha) is a pinniped that lives in the Pacific Ocean’s Arctic and sub-Arctic waters. It is closely related to the harbor seal. It stretches from Bristol Bay, Alaska, to the Yellow Sea.

In terms of size, the spotted seal and the harbor seal are comparable. However, it’s easy to tell apart from other similar species because of the variety of spots on its fur. In comparison to other true seals, these pinnipeds are more likely to be found in groups. Thousands of spotted seals have been seen hauled out on a single sandbar in groups.

Whether or not the spotted seal should be classified as endangered is a point of contention. It is classified as a species of low concern by the IUCN. However, the species’ dependence on swiftly disintegrating Arctic pack ice may soon endanger it. In the United States, it isn’t endangered, but in South Korea, it is.

1.13 Ringed Seal

The ringed seal (Pusa hispida) is a little pinniped that can be found in northern European freshwater lakes and in sub-Arctic and Arctic seas. With more than 1.4 million individuals scattered across the globe, it is one of the most populous true seal species.

Arctic ringed seal, Baltic ringed seal, Lagoda seal, Saimaa ringed seal, and Pusa hispida ochotensis are the five recognized subspecies of the ringed seal.

The Saimaa and Lagoda subspecies inhabit two huge lakes in Finland’s Karelia area, despite the fact that most other subspecies dwell in ocean seas. One of the world’s most endangered pinniped species is the Saimaa ringed seal. It is thought that this subspecies has fewer than 400 individuals left.

1.14 Baikal Seal

The Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica) is closely related to the ringed seal and can only be found in its namesake Lake Baikal. It is the only pinniped species that is solely found in freshwater, and it is one of the smallest of the actual seals.

It is unclear how the Baikal seal ended up in Lake Baikal, which is hundreds of kilometers from the closest ocean, since all other seal species live primarily in ocean settings. The species, on the other hand, seems to flourish in the lake, where it can feast on golomyanka without restriction.

The East Siberian brown bear is the species’ sole known natural predator. While the annual quota is fairly low, the species is legal to hunt in Russia. Climate change, which may have a significant negative impact on delicate freshwater ecosystems like Lake Baikal, is believed to be the seal’s greatest danger.

1.15 Caspian Seal

Another geographically restricted pinniped is the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica). It can only be found in the Caspian Sea, and it lives in brackish water. While it is the sole pinniped species in its range, the species is closely linked to the ringed and Baikal seals.

The Caspian Sea ecosystem’s apex predator is the Caspian seal. They mostly eat fish and crustaceans, although the exact kind of fish they consume changes dramatically throughout the year.

The Caspian seal is classified as endangered, unlike the Baikal and ringed seals. Natural predators such as wolves and sea eagles might pose a danger to the species, but human development poses the greatest threat. In addition, the virus that causes mass mortality in dogs is especially deadly to this species.

1.16 Harp Seal

The harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) is arguably the most well-known of the seal species, and it may be found in the Atlantic Ocean’s northernmost waters. The waters around Eastern Canada, Greenland, and the western European Arctic are home to the majority of species’ population. Yet, in the Barents and White Seas, there exists a subspecies.

The harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) is the most well-known of the seal species, and it prefers to live in the Atlantic Ocean’s northernmost waters. The waters around Eastern Canada, Greenland, and the western European Arctic are home to the majority of the species’ population. However, in the Barents and White Seas, there is a subspecies.

While there are worries about the species’ long-term health in the face of climate change, the harp seal population is presently increasing. Although many Indigenous peoples in the Arctic eat harp seals as a traditional dish, the loss of Arctic pack ice is considered to be a much more serious issue for the species than human hunting, which is heavily controlled.

1.17 Ribbon Seal

One of the least understood of the Arctic seals is the ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata). It is classified as a species of lower concern and can be found throughout the Arctic Ocean and in parts of the Bering Sea.

The ribbon seal has huge white strips on its black fur, making it fairly simple to distinguish. Due to their white fur, however, young ribbon seal pups closely resemble harp seal pups. The two species live in completely different areas, so it is difficult to confused them in the wild, despite their physical resemblance.

Ribbon seals seem to be less afraid of humans than other seal species. Ribbon seals are often unconcerned about the commotion around them, despite the fact that they prefer to live alone. They’ve also been spotted leaving their pups alone for extended periods of time. Polar bears might not be as interested in the ribbon seal as other Arctic pinnipeds, which may explain why.

1.18 Grey Seal

In the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada, it’s frequently seen. Iceland, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian Peninsula are all home to populations. In addition, the Baltic Sea is home to a grey seal subspecies known as Halichoerus grypus grypus.

The grey seal is perhaps the most gregarious of all the pinniped species that live in the North Atlantic’s temperate waters. It can be found in huge colonies all over the United States and the United Kingdom, notably around Scotland and the Gulf of Saint. Lawrence is the name of the street.

Orca, Greenland sharks, and great white sharks all enjoy the grey seal as a meal. Despite the fact that it was nearly extirpated by overzealous hunters in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it is classified as a species of least concern.

2. Eared Seals (Otariids)

The otariids are the second family of pinnipeds, and they’re also known as ear seals. All of the sea lions and fur seals belong to this family.

All of these species have small apparent ear flaps, which the genuine seals do not, as the family name suggests. In addition, since they have bigger fore flippers and the capacity to rotate their hind flippers forward, otariids are far more agile on land than genuine seals. On land, they have the ability to travel at surprising speeds.

In seven genera, there are 14 distinct otariid species. Each of the eared seal species is covered in this article:

2.1 Brown Fur Seal

The world’s biggest fur seal is the brown fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus). The South African fur seal (A. m ACTIONS) is one of two subspecies of this pinniped. The Australian fur seal (A. pusillus pusillus) Both live in the Southern Hemisphere and are members of the Pusillus family.

The biggest brown fur seals may weigh up to around 660 pounds (300 kg) and have minor differences between the two subspecies. Yet, significant sexual dimorphism can be seen in these seals. Females, on average, weigh less than 260 pounds (120 kg).

In their range, fur seals live in enormous colonies on rocky and sandy beaches. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the species was nearly driven extinct by overhunting. Due to conservation efforts, both sub-species have been designated as species of least concern.

2.2 Antarctic Fur Seal

The Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) may be found in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seas, and is the southernmost of the fur seals.

Surprisingly, compared to the Antarctic, it is actually more widely distributed in the sub-Antarctic islands, such as the Crozet Islands. It does, however, exist on the Antarctic Peninsula’s isolated areas.

The Antarctic fur seal was extensively hunted, much like the brown fur seal. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was on the verge of extinction. Adult Antarctic fur seals, however, now number around 1 million, with the majority of them residing on South Georgia.

2.3 Guadalupe Fur Seal

One of the northernmost fur seal species is the Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi). It can be found mostly around Guadalupe Island on the west coast of the Baja Peninsula.

Throughout the nineteenth century, the Guadalupe fur seal, like many other fur seal species, was extensively hunted. Fewer than 100 people were left at one point. The seal, on the other hand, is now a species of least concern, thanks to local conservation activities, as of 2021.

The Guadalupe fur seal is also known to rest in the water, even though you may frequently spot them lounging on rocky coasts. In reality, with its head underwater and rear flippers protruding out of the water, it is frequently seen floating in the ocean.

2.4 Juan Fernández Fur Seal

A tiny fur seal that lives exclusively off the coast of Chile, the Juan Fernández fur seal (Arctocephalus philippii) is a rare species. While more investigation is required to establish its true range, it may be found around the Juan Fernández Islands and the Desventuradas Islands.

Because of the Juan Fernández fur seal’s range’s remoteness, relatively little is known about its habits and characteristics. Because of the species’ popularity, it was overhunted, and many thought it had gone extinct by the late 1800s.

A few lone Juan Fernández fur seals were seen off the coast of Chile during the mid-twentieth century. The Chilean government was inspired to provide the species full protection as a result of this. As a consequence, the species has recovered unexpectedly and is now listed as a species of low concern.

2.5 Galápagos Fur Seal

The world’s smallest fur seal is the Galápagos fur seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis). It is only found in the Galápagos Islands, which are located off Ecuador’s coast, and is currently listed as endangered by the IUCN.

The Galápagos fur seal has a dark black coat at birth, which becomes more brownish with age. They’re relatively tiny for a pinniped, seldom exceeding about 140 pounds (64 kg).

Over-hunting was the main danger to the Galápagos fur seal population at first. The species has, however, not been hunted since the creation of the national park in the archipelago. Oil pollution, boat accidents, and human impacts from tourism are all threats to the species’ long-term survival.

2.6 New Zealand Fur Seal

This pinniped species may be found throughout the southernmost reaches of Australasia, despite its name (Arctocephalus forsteri). It may be found in New Zealand’s South Island, the sub-Antarctic Islands, and southern Australia in particular.

Other fur seals, such as the Subantarctic fur seal, have many of the same characteristics and behaviors as the New Zealand fur seal. It enjoys living in huge colonies and may dive to incredible depths, among other things.

The New Zealand fur seal was on the verge of extinction as a result of commercial hunting, as have been other similar species. Over virtually all of its range, it is now protected.

2.7 Subantarctic Fur Seal

The Subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis) is a pinniped that may be found in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans’ southernmost regions.

The Subantarctic species is found in more northerly waters, despite sharing many physical features with the Antarctic fur seal. Gough Island, Île Amsterdam, and Prince Edward Island are among the places where the species may be found.

In any case, the ranges of Antarctic and Subantarctic fur seals overlap in certain places. The slight orange color on a Subantarctic fur seal’s chest is frequently visible in these situations.

2.8 South American Fur Seal

Among the most common pinniped species in South America is the South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis). It stretches nearly the whole length of the continent’s south coast, from Brazil and Ecuador to the Falkland Islands.

The South American fur seal is well-adapted to a wide range of conditions because of its immense range. The South American fur seal has been seen as far north as the Galápagos Islands, according to documented sightings. As a consequence, the species can endure both Tierra del Fuego’s severe winters and coastal Ecuador’s subtropical seas.

Despite its vast range, the South American fur seal’s population health is relatively unknown. While inconsistent data collection methods may be to blame for exaggerated population numbers, it is classified as a lowest-concern species.

Despite its large geographical range, the overall health of the South American fur seal is relatively unknown. Although inconsistent data collection techniques may be to blame for exaggerated population numbers, it is classified as a least concern species.

2.9 Northern Fur Seal

The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) is not particularly closely related to the other fur seals, despite its name. In reality, it is the only species of fur seal that may be seen in frigid seas of the North Pacific and is restricted to a small area north of Mexico.

The northern fur seal, which breeds in huge colonies in Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, is mostly found there. It has been pursued by Indigneous peoples in Alaska and Arctic Russia since time immemorial, but it was almost driven to extinction by European hunting in the nineteenth century.

The northern fur seal breeds in huge colonies around Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. While it was practically driven to extinction by European hunting in the nineteenth century, it has been persecuted by Indigneous peoples in Alaska and Arctic Russia since time immemorial.

The northern fur seal is classified as a vulnerable species with a declining population, despite recent conservation efforts. Climate change, as well as overfishing in the species’ principal habitat, are responsible for the majority of this.

2.10 Steller Sea Lion

The Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) is one of the world’s biggest eared seals and was named after naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller. Only coastal British Columbia, Alaska, Russia, and Japan are home to this species in the northern Pacific. Throughout its range, the species is considered near-threatened.

In particular, the Steller sea lion is a superb hunter. Individuals have been said to be hunting huge fish species like white sturgeon, according to reports. Young sea otters, harbor seals, and northern fur seals are occasionally hunted by Steller sea lions. Orcas and great white sharks are the only known natural predators.

While Indigenous people have long hunted steller sea lions, commercial sealers did not target them often. Rather, fishing boats have been intentional killing the species, as well as climate change, which has contributed to a significant decrease in its population.

Although Indigenous peoples have long hunted steller sea lions, commercial sealers seldom did so. Intentional killing by fishing boats, as well as climate change, are responsible for the substantial decrease in the species’ population.

2.11 Australian Sea Lion

The Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) is an endangered pinniped that lives primarily on sandy beaches and can only be found on the southern coasts of Western Australia and South Australia.

Sea lions in Australia are opportunistic feeders that eat octopuses and southern rock lobsters. Some have been observed devouring little penguins (Eudyptula minor). Great white sharks devour the Australian sea lion at the same time. Stingrays and other marine species may also kill it on occasion, although the motivations for this remain unknown.

There used to be a lot more of the species around. The sea lion, on the other hand, has a range of less than 100 confirmed breeding sites due to human land development and disturbances.

2.12 South American Sea Lion

In much of southern coastal South America, the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) is a common pinniped. While the two species are easily distinguished due to their distinct physical characteristics, it shares a great deal of its range with the South American fur seal.

The South American sea lion is one of the most sexually dimorphic species when compared to other eared seals. Adult females seldom weigh more than 330 pounds (150 kg) whereas males may weigh up to 770 pounds (350 kg).

The South American sea lion, like other species of seals, has been hunted for millennia. The species is currently classified as having a low threat and a healthy population. However, significant weather and climatic phenomena like powerful El Niños, which may obstruct its feeding chances, are frequently susceptible to it.

2.13 New Zealand Sea Lion

The New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri), sometimes known as the Hooker’s sea lion or whakahao, is one of the world’s rarest sea lions. It may be found around the sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand’s South Island, as well as in the region.

Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic horsefish, and New Zealand fur seals are just a few of the species that New Zealand sea lions consume. While they have been hunted for subsistence by Māori for thousands of generations, the great white shark is their only known natural predator.

The species is designated as endangered for a variety of reasons. Traditional commercial hunting, which was outlawed in the 1890s, was formerly the biggest danger to New Zealand sea lions. Nevertheless, the commercial fish industry’s bycatch killings are currently jeopardizing the species. The species’ long-term survival is also threatened by climate change.

2.14 California Sea Lion

The California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is our last species of eared seal. The natural range of this adorably pinniped extends across much of California. It may be found from central Mexico to southeast Alaska, in fact.

The California sea lion has been extensively studied by marine scientists since it lives along some of the most densely populated coast in the United States.

One of the reasons why California sea lions are so common in circuses and aquariums is because they are considered to be easy to train. The US Navy has even taught them to find enemy divers and naval mines.

The IUCN has classified the California sea lion as a “species of low concern” with a growing population. Environmental changes generated by El Niño, on the other hand, are incredibly lethal to this species. In recent years, the seals have led to conflict with humans due to their habit of damaging docks and moored boats in their natural environment.

3. Walrus

Is a walrus really a seal, as you’re thinking right now? The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is, in fact, a kind of seal, as it turns out.

The walrus is the only extant member of the Pinnipedia clade, which contains the other extinct species in the family Odobenidae. The walrus can be classified as a seal because it belongs to the Pinnipedia clade.

Walruses and other seals do have a few differences, as you might expect. The walrus is the only seal that bears tusks, and they are the first and foremost. It is the world’s biggest seal, only outdone by the two elephant seal populations.

Walruses exist in the Arctic Ocean’s discontinuous circumpolar environment. Walrus live in parts of the Russian, European, Alaskan, and Greenland Arctic in two different subspecies: Pacific and Atlantic. In addition, in the eastern Canadian Arctic near Baffin Island, there are a few walrus.

Since the emergence of humans in their environment, walruses have been hunted. For numerous Indigenous communities, such as the Inuit, Chukchi, and Yupik, they are a historically vital dietary source and resource. Walrus meat is commonly consumed by Indigenous communities, and blubber is utilized to make oil. In several Northern cultures, walrus tusks and bones are also used for hardwares.

Throughout the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, however, the walrus was excessively hunted and exploited by European hunters. The Atlantic walrus was practically wiped off as a result of the over-hunting. Despite the fact that the walrus population has recovered significantly since the nineteenth century, it is still classified as endangered by the IUCN due to climate change.

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