Harp Seal - Project

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Harp Seal - Project

Harp seals become sexually mature between the ages of 4-6. They create large social gatherings during breeding season which takes place between February and April. The males obtain a mate by fighting with others who desire the female. Their ways of luring a female can be done through chasing, pawing, or making loud noises. Mating can be done on land, but is mostly performed under water.

Harp seals generally tend to live in cold regions mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. They can be found in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. Most of them are scattered around the icy waters and blocks of ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Arctic, Siberia, Greenland, even Russia.

- Harp seals are carnivores who mostly prey on small fish without a backbone. They are known to eat cod, shrimp, capelin, herring, halibut and crabs. With good hearing and the use of their whiskers, they can perceive any danger by sensing vibrations. Predators consist of larger animals such as killer whales, polar bears, sharks and walruses.

- Harp seals are very socialable and interactive with each other. Since they frequently migrate over vast distances, they tend to travel in packs. Sometimes these packs may be broken and formed again in newer areas.

Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaOrder: CarnivoraFamily: PhocidaeGenus: PagophilusSpecies: groenlandicus

- Harp seals have a sturdy body. Theu got their name from the dark shape that looks like a harp on their back. The shape is more prominent for males but for females it is much lighter. Their heads are small, circular and broad. They have a snout that extends outwards. have greyish-yellow fur, and don't have any external ear flaps. Pups have white fur.

- To move on land, they use their claws and front flippers. For swimming, they use their back flippers which are less dense to swim with ease. Their lungs can be inflated every time they make deep dives underwater and their lactic muscles keep them from tiring out. Pups' white fur helps them adapt to the freezing temperatures by trapping body heat and to camouflage. The average harp seal has thick blubber to keep warm.The harp seal's eyesight is used to navigate with large eye lens to see on land and under water.

The Harp Sealby Sabrina Jenney

Appearance & Body Adaptions


Feeding Habits & Behaviors

This is an adult harp seal!


The most recent and current population estimate for the Harper Seals is 5.3 million seals. It would take another century for them to become endangered, or worse extinct the more they die. Humans mostly seek their furs to make pelts. Fortunately, more laws have been introduced such as the Marine Animal Protection Act of 1972. As a result, the Harper Seal populations have been substantially rising ever since.

More people are starting to take action and protect the defenseless seals.

If these huntscontinue, we couldbecome extinct!

Female harp seals that become pregnant after mating gather in groups on ice to give birth. Pregnancies usually last up to 7.5 months. On the ice, the pups have more chances of surviving since they become abandoned after 12 weeks of being nursed by their mothers who end up returning to the mating cycle.

For centuries, Harp Seals have been prized for capture by humans. They are seen as good sources of food, clothing, oil and products. The biggest animal slaughter known to man is the Canadian Seal Hunt. Due to this, populations of the Harper Seal have decreased. Apart from being hunted, dramatic shifts in nature took great toll on them such as over-fishing and drifts in climate have reduced the prey that is available to them. Now, there has been laws accounted for the Canada Hunt such as the Total Allowable Catch for Harp Seals to be set at 275,000.




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