Northern fur seal

June 13, 2012, 3:33 am
Content Cover Image

Northern fur seal, St. Paul Island. Source: Rolf Ream/NOAA


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)

The Northern fur seal (scientific name: Callorhinus) is a genus of just one species (a monotypic genus) within the eared seal family of sixteen species - the Pribilof fur seal , which is also known as the Northern fur seal and Alaska fur seal. Thus, the name "Northern fur seal" can be appied to both the genus and its single species.

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 rapidly 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 seal is 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 Encyclopedia of Life (accessed April 8, 2009)
  2. [1], Seal Conservation Society (accessed April 8, 2009)
  3. The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses, Marianne Riedman, University of California Press, 1991 ISBN: 0520064984
  4. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Bernd Wursig, Academic Press, 2002 ISBN: 0125513402
  5. 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
  6. Walker's Mammals of the World, Ronald M. Nowak, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 ISBN: 0801857899


Saundry, P. (2012). Northern fur seal. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/154936


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