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Antarctic Fur Seal


Scientific Name:
Arctocephalus gazella
Length:
male: 1.6 - 2.0 m (5.2 - 6.6 ft); female: 1.3 m (4.3 ft)
Weight:
male: 120 - 200 kg (265 - 441 lbs); female: 30 - 55 kg (66 - 121 lbs)
Status:
good to go
Prey:
Krill, squid, fish, penguin

Physical characteristics

The Antarctic fur seal has a short, broad snout. Males are dark brown while females and juveniles are grey with lighter undersides. The flippers are darker than the rest of the body.

Behavioral characterization

Males form groups during the mating season. Females are not very social with others except for the strong bond that is formed with their pup, and all are usually solitary when foraging and migrating.

Distribution

New Zealand, South Georgia, Kerguelen Islands, Antarctica

Population size

4,000,000

Predators

Sharks and killer whales. Leopard seals prey on the pups.

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Migrate to New Zealand, South Georgia and the Kerguelen Islands in summer to breed.

Social system/Group size

Usually solitary, but sometimes larger groups are formed on beaches near good feeding grounds.

Major threats

Entanglement in fishing gear.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

These fur seals are polygynous and one male may mate with 20 females during one season.