At the Detroit Zoo
The harbor seal has a rounded head with a fairly blunt snout and lacks external ear flaps. Its color varies from silver with black spots, to black with gray or white rings, to almost pure white.
Scientific name: Phoca vitulina
Continent: Northern-most parts of North America, Asia and Europe
Habitat: Rocky or sandy beaches, rocky reefs, tidal mudflats and sandbars along the coast or in bays or estuaries
Size: 4.5-6 feet long
Weight: 150-300 pounds
Diet: The harbor seal is a carnivore and eats various fish, crustaceans and mollusks.
Reproduction: Gestation 9 to 11 months; single pup
Lifespan: 25 years
Conservation Status: Least Concern
The gray seal has a speckled body with shiny, white whiskers. Its foreflippers and hind flippers are webbed with five strong claws on each. The gray seal has very powerful rear flippers that propel it through the water, using its tail to help steer. It also has very powerful shoulders that enable it to haul out onto steep and slippery rocks, even in a big swell.
Scientific name: Halichoerus grypus
The harbor seal can remain submerged for up to 28 minutes and dive to depths of 295 feet.
The gray seal's large eyes allow it to see well in dark murky waters; however, its highly sensitive ears are most important for locating prey.