Harbor seals defend themselves from humans and predators by relying on their sensitive hearing to alert them and allow them to vacate the area. During the breeding season, males protect their territory from rival males by engaging in stylized fighting. While strong and fast swimmers, harbor seals lack other defense mechanisms and often fall prey to killer whales, sharks and the occasional coyote or bobcat.Know More
Although harbor seals have natural predators, they are classified as apex predators, feeding on fish and invertebrates alike. Their highly acute hearing is 14 times more sensitive underwater than on land, allowing them to distinguish between the calls of killer whales and their harmless cousins. Their whiskers are also able to detect sensitive vibrations in the water, and they possess an excellent sense of smell. Harbor seals have been observed to abandon a favored resting area due to human disturbance, reacting to human presence from distances reaching up to 300 feet.
Pups are the most vulnerable but have evolved to swim from birth, giving them an advantage when escaping from predators. They also grow rapidly, doubling their weight in the first month, and rarely leave the presence of their mother or other pups. Adults weigh up to 280 pounds.Learn more about Marine Mammals
Harp seals live in the Arctic near places like Alaska and Greenland, and they usually stay around the coasts near floating ice. Their name comes from the patterns that form from their spots once they reach adulthood, which look something like harps. When they are born, they don't have the pattern and are instead covered in fluffy white fur for their first three weeks of life.Full Answer >
Sea elephants, or elephant seals, exist in two species, the northern elephant seal and the southern elephant seal. The southern elephant seal is the largest type of seal on Earth.Full Answer >
The elephant seals in Cambria, Calif., are northern elephant seals, according to the Marine Mammal Center. They are one of two species of elephant seal, and they range from the northern Pacific coast of Canada, along the western coast of the United States, and south along the Pacific coast of Mexico. The second species are southern elephant seals that live on the coasts of New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.Full Answer >
Harp seals are not an endangered species, according to Scientific American. However, scientists and colleagues at Duke University and the International Wildlife Fund have determined that a decrease of winter ice at harp seal breeding grounds is an ongoing threat.Full Answer >