Harbor Seal (phocid) Phoca vitulina
Pacific Harbor Seal
Pacific harbor seals have spotted coats in a variety of shades from white or silver-gray to black or dark brown. Each Harbor Seal has a distinct pattern of spots on its body as well. No two of them are the same. They are true seals, having no external ear flaps. True seals have small flippers and must move on land by inching along on their bellies. When in the water they use their rear flippers to propel themselves.
Pacific harbor seals are found north of the equator in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the northeast Pacific, they range from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico.
The diet for Harbor Seals mainly consists of small fish. Other food items the are commonly known to consume include Cod, Herring, Salmon, Octopus, Rockfish and Squid. Generally they will consume what happens to be the most plentiful in the area where they reside.
Diet at PMMC:
Herring, capelin and sardines
The males and females are very comparable in size and look so it can be hard to distinguish them. They can be up to 5 to 6 feet long, weighing up to 300 pounds.
Swim 10 to 15 mph, can dive 1500 feet for up to 40 minutes, average 3-7 min./dive
In California, February to April. Pups weigh 20-25 pounds at birth.
The world wide the population is estimated to be ~500,000 individuals. The portion of that number estimated to live in California was about 38,000 in 2009.
Polar bears, killer whales, sharks, humans, eagles, and coyotes (coyotes eat pups)