Facts about Harbor Seal. "Scientific name for Harbor Seal is Phoca vitulina. The Harbor Seal is part of the Phoca gunus and Phocidae family. Seals and sea lions and Walruses are semiaquatic mammals they are all in a group called pinnipeds, meaning "fin-footed". This species lives along the Arctic coast around the North Pole. The Harbor seal has the widest range of any seal and are not considered threatened. Harbor seals near the Pacific are usually larger than those around the Atlantic.
Harbor seals may be brown, gray or tan. Harbor seals have spot patterns unique to each individual. They are lighter on the bottom than the top. Harbor seals nostrils form a V shape that closes when they go underwater.
Adult harbor seals grow up to six feet (1.82 meters) long. The Harbor Seal can weigh up to three hundred pounds (136 kg), though females are smaller than the males. They weigh up to 35 pounds (16 kg) at birth, with mothers have one pup each year. The pup can swim within hours of its birth. The Harbor Seal are born during the summer and are weaned by the time they are a month old.
The Harbor Seal live 20 to 35 years, assuming they aren’t eaten by killer whales or hunted by humans. Females live longer than males.
Harbor seals can spend several days at a time at sea, though they rarely go more than fifteen miles (24 km) off shore. They are more often seen resting on land.
Harbor seals are considered true seals. They do not have a pinna or ear flap that closes off the ear canal when they dive the way their nostrils close to keep water out of the lungs.
Harbor seals are rarely caught for food anymore except by hunters in places like Greenland and Hokkaido, Japan. In much of their territory, hunting of the Harbor Seals is prohibited by the Marine Mammal Protection Act or MMPA in Alaska and the Conservation of Seals Act in the UK. The greater threat is getting caught up in fishing nets and drowning before the net is brought up to the surface. A study in Norway found that this was the cause of death for half of the pups studied.
The harbor seal is divided into several subspecies, such as the East Atlantic common seal and Pacific common seal.