Northern fur seals have the second thickest fur in the animal kingdom.
This keeps them warm as they hunt for food in the cold waters of the
Northern Pacific. Visit the fur seals at the Aquarium to see them in action.
Size Males can weigh up to 600 pounds and grow up to 7 feet long. Females
weigh up to 120 pounds and are generally 4.5 feet long.
Diet Squids and small schooling fish such as walleye pollock and herring
Lifespan 15 - 25 years
Range Northern fur seals are widely distributed in the North Pacific Ocean.
Their primary breeding location is the Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska.
Habitat Fur seals are migratory, spending about half of each year out at sea.
While at sea, they sleep by floating at the surface, often with their flippers up and
out in what is called the jughandle position.
Predators Adult fur seals are hunted by orcas and large sharks.
Relatives Northern fur seals and sea lions are in the same family known as "eared
seals." They are known for their ability to rotate their flippers under them and "walk"
Family life Mating occurs between June and July on remote island beaches called rookeries. Pups are born one year later on the same beach. They are able to live independently after four months.
Conservation status Vulnerable Fur seals were commercially hunted for their pelts until the practice was banned in 1966. The population has continued to decline since then. The reasons for the decline in fur seal populations are unclear, but possible factors include overfishing, entanglement in fishing gear, climate change and pollution.
Seals and climate change According to scientists, the retreat of sea ice has reduced the platform that seals traditionally use to rest between searches for fish and mussels. Read more ...