Marine Mammal Care Center
Los Angeles

(Phoca Vitulina)pp3

Harbor seals are earless seals (true seals);.they are the most readily observed earless seal in American waters, and they are widespread on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

ORDER:
SUBORDER:
FAMILY:
GENUS:
SPECIES:
SUB-SPECIES:

Carnivora
Pinnipedia
Phocidae
Phoca
vitulina
richardsi

Adult (Average) Size:

Male: 4'7" to 5'7" , up to 300 lbs.; Female: 4'7" to 5'7", up to 300 lbs.

Habitat:

Coastal waters and mouths of rivers; may occur in some northern inland freshwater lakes

Range:

Hudson Bay to Carolinas (Atlantic); Northern Alaska to Calif. Coastline (Pacific)

Migratory Patterns:

Non‑migratory

Social Organization During Breeding:

Small to large groups

Mating Behavior:

Polygynous

Sexual Maturity:

Male: 3 to 7 years; Female: 2 to 7 years

Mating Season:

Varies; May to June (North America)

Gestation Period:

12 months (3 months delayed implantation)

Pupping Season:

April to May (east coast of North America), February to March (west coast)

Size at Birth:

2 ‑ 3 ft. (22 lbs. to 28 lbs.)

Lactation (Nursing) Period:

21 ‑ 42 days (Length of lactation period varies geographically)

Usual Diet:

Herring, squid, flounder, crustaceans and mollusks

Amount of Food per Day:

Juvenile: 5 lbs. to 8 lbs.; Adults: 10 lbs. to 15 lbs.

Predators:

Orcas, great white sharks and polar bears

Diving Depth:

Can dive to depths of 600 ft.

Submersion Times:

Can remain submerged for 30 minutes; average 5 to 8 minutes.

Longevity:

Average lifespan for most pinnipeds is estimated to be from 15 to 25 years