Northern Fur Seal (otariid) Callorhinus ursinus
Northern Fur Seal
Fur seals are known for their thick fur, which has 300,000 hairs per square inch. Europeans first named them "sea bears" which is similar to their scientific name Callorhinus ursinus, meaning "bear-like." Their flippers tend to be proportionately longer than other eared seals. Their fur is dark brown in color, and their whiskers or vibrissae are more prominent. Fur seals have sharp eyesight and keen hearing.
Fur seals live throughout the Pacific Rim ( from Japan to the Bering Sea to the Channel Islands )
Northern fur seals in the Bering Sea, they primarily consume walleye pollock, squids, salmon, Pacific sandlance, northern smoothtongue and Pacific herring. Between Alaska and California the primary prey species are northern anchovy, Pacific herring, squids, capelin, Pacific sandlance, Pacific whiting, salmon, Pacific saury and rockfishes.
Diet at PMMC:
Herring, capelin and Sardines
Males are much larger than females, even at birth. Male pups weigh 12 pounds and grow to 400-600 pounds and are and 7 feet in length.
Female pups only weigh 10 pounds and grow to 70-100 pounds and are 4.5 feet in length.
Birthing season is between May to early June
600 feet maximum, average 200 feet
Once hunted in large numbers for their pelt (such as those made into coats), northern fur seals are now protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act as a depleted species. The current world population is estimated at 1.2 million worldwide, but is declining. Commercial fishing operations may be contributing to the decline by decreasing availability of fish and entanglement in fishing gear.
Large sharks, killer whales, and humans