Seals and sea lions

37 species

Seals and sea lions are fin-footed, semiaquatic, mostly marine mammals. These are carnivorous animals and their closest living relatives are bears and the superfamily of musteloids (weasels, raccoons, skunks, and red pandas), having diverged about 50 million years ago. Seals and sea lions have well-developed senses - their eyesight and hearing are adapted for both air and water, and they have an advanced tactile system in their whiskers or vibrissae. Some species are well adapted for diving to great depths. They are covered in furs and have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin to keep warm in the cold water. Most species prefer the colder waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They spend most of their lives in the water, but come ashore to mate, give birth, molt or escape from predators, such as sharks and killer whales. The meat, blubber and fur coats of these marine animals have traditionally been used by indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Seals have been depicted in various cultures worldwide. They are commonly kept in captivity and are even sometimes trained to perform tricks and tasks. Once relentlessly hunted by commercial industries for their products, seals and are now protected by international law. Besides hunting, these amazing mammals also face threats from accidental trapping, marine pollution, and conflicts with local people.
Seals and sea lions are fin-footed, semiaquatic, mostly marine mammals. These are carnivorous animals and their closest living relatives are bears and the superfamily of musteloids (weasels, raccoons, skunks, and red pandas), having diverged about 50 million years ago. Seals and sea lions have well-developed senses - their eyesight and hearing are adapted for both air and water, and they have an advanced tactile system in their whiskers or vibrissae. Some species are well adapted for diving to great depths. They are covered in furs and have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin to keep warm in the cold water. Most species prefer the colder waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They spend most of their lives in the water, but come ashore to mate, give birth, molt or escape from predators, such as sharks and killer whales. The meat, blubber and fur coats of these marine animals have traditionally been used by indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Seals have been depicted in various cultures worldwide. They are commonly kept in captivity and are even sometimes trained to perform tricks and tasks. Once relentlessly hunted by commercial industries for their products, seals and are now protected by international law. Besides hunting, these amazing mammals also face threats from accidental trapping, marine pollution, and conflicts with local people.