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Northern Fur Seal Callorhinus ursinus


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Northern Fur Seal
credit: nmml

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Alternate name: Alaska Fur Seal

Family: Otariidae, Eared Seals view all from this family

Description Head is short and nose is very sharply pointed. Also distinguished from Guadalupe Fur Seal by having fur that forms a straight line at the base of the foreflipper, rather than extending to a point. Females are brown; males grow darker as they age, some appear black, especially when wet. Pups are born black, molt to a silvery color in late summer, and become golden brown over winter. Toes on hind flippers are all similar in size.

Dimensions 1.9-2.1m, 175-275kg; / 1.2-1.5m, 30-50kg

Habitat Beaches, shorelines & estuaries, Offshore waters

Range California, Northwest, Western Canada, Alaska

Discussion Congregate on the shores of the Pribilof, Aleutian, and Channel Islands to breed and pup, then scatter to feed at sea. Seals tagged as pups do not return to their natal rookery to breed, unlike sea lions.