Seals, Sea Lions, and Walrus

walrus
Walrus are the largest pinniped.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Joel Garlich-Miller

Seals, sea lions, and walruses belong to a group of marine mammals called pinnipeds, referring to their flippered feet.

Seals (true seals or earless seals) have no external ear flaps. In Alaska we have a number of seal species including harbor seals, bearded seals, ribbon seals, ringed seals, and spotted seals.

Sea lions and fur seals belong to the group of eared seals, that have external ear flaps. They also have large front flippers and walk with all four flippers under their bodies. Steller sea lions are the largest in the family.

Walrus are the largest pinnipeds, with some males registering over 3,000 pounds. They are unique with their large tusks and vaccuum-like mouths that can suck up shellfish from the ocean floor.

Walrus haul out in large aggregations. Check out this live web cam to take a peak at the walrus haul out on Round Island National Natural Landmark.

Last updated: June 28, 2017