Hooded Seal

Scientific Name:
Cystophora cristata
2.6 m
300-410 kg
Fish and invertebrae

Physical characteristics

They have a distinctive bulge on the top of their head.

Behavioral characterization

They can dive down to depths of 1000m or more within a 50 min time span.


They are found most commonly in the far north Atlantic.

Population size

1,300,000 individuals


Polar bears, sharks, and orca

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Found from Alaska to Canary and the Caribbean Islands.

Social system/Group size

They are found in groups consisting of up to 200 individuals.

Major threats

They are threatened by hunting, and oil spills pose a potential threat to their health as well.

Research efforts

They have bee tracked using satellite tags to find out more about their population and dynamics.

Fun fact

The protruding bulge on their heads is their bladder and is used to attract a mate by inflating the bladder pocket to a balloon-like state.