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caption Pribilof fur seal. Source: Anne Morkill/BioLib/Encyclopedia of Life
Conservation Status

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Phylum:--- Chordata
Class:------ Mammalia (Mammals)
Order:-------- Carnivora (Carnivores)
Family:-------- Otariidae (Eared Seals)
Genus:----------Callorhinus (Northern fur seal)
Species:------------ one species

Callorhinus is a genus of just one species (a “monotypic” genus) within the eared seal family of sixteen species -  Pribilof fur seal (also known as the Northern fur seal and Alaska fur seal).

The Pribilof fur seal (Scientific name: Callorhinus ursinus) is one of 16 species of marine mammals in the family of Eared seals which include sea lions and fur seals. Together with the families of true seals and Walruses, Eared seals form the group of marine mammals known as pinnipeds.

Eared seals differ from the true seals in having small external earflaps and hind flippers that can be turned to face forwards. Together with strong front flippers, this gives them extra mobility on land and an adult fur seal can move extremely fast across the beach if it has to. They also use their front flippers for swimming, whereas true seals use their hind flippers.

Like other Eared seals, the male Pribilof fur sealis considerably larger than the female.

Like other fur seals, the Pribilof fur seal was long hunted for its skin which almost led to the species extinction in the mid 1700s. All commercial hunting has ceased at sea and only limited numbers are now taken under license.

For details, see Pribilof fur seal.

Further Reading

  1. Callorhinus ursinus (Linnaeus, 1758) Encyclopedia of Life (accessed April 7, 2009)
  2. Callorhinus ursinus, Holmes, J., 2001, Animal Diversity Web (accessed April 7, 2009)
  3. Callorhinus, Catalogue of Life (accessed November 24, 2009)
  4. Northern Fur Seal, Seal Conservation Society (accessed April 7, 2009)
  5. The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses, Marianne Riedman, University of California Press, 1991 ISBN: 0520064984
  6. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Bernd Wursig, Academic Press, 2002 ISBN: 0125513402
  7. Marine Mammal Research: Conservation beyond Crisis, edited by John E. Reynolds III, William F. Perrin, Randall R. Reeves, Suzanne Montgomery and Timothy J. Ragen, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005 ISBN: 0801882559
  8. Walker's Mammals of the World, Ronald M. Nowak, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 ISBN: 0801857899
  9. Northern fur seal, MarineBio.org (accessed April 7, 2009)


Life, E. (2014). Callorhinus. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/150862


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