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Information for Other Species

HARBOR SEALS (Phoca vitulina)

 Written by: James Moore, DVM


Walking along Puget Sound beaches or sitting in your boat, you may see a curious earless harbor seal face rise from the water to check you out. Harbor seals are the most abundant marine mammal along Puget Sound. Although curious, they are shy animals and prefer quiet, unpopulated areas.


            Seals are members of the Order Pinnipedia ( “pinniped” comes from the latin word “pinna” meaning winged and “ped” meaning foot) which is divided into two Families—Otariid or eared seals (Fur Seals, California Sea Lions, Elephant seals etc) and Phocid or earless seals (Harbor Seals).