Harp Seal Inquiry
Study By: Briana Price
How do seals catch How are seals adapted to
their prey? Room 23 live in their environment?
Do harp seals have
any predators, if
so, what are they?
Baby Harp Seal
Scientific Name: Pagophilus
Groenlandica or Phoca
Harp Seals belong to the
family of pinnipeds.
Adults are identified by a
harp shaped mark on their
Adult Harp Seal
When born, pups are covered
in a thick, white coat.
Diagram of a Seal
Adaptive Features – Physical
Sharp claws – to defend against predators and to aid in
the capture of food
Closable ears – to keep out water and to help their
bodies cope with underwater pressure at deeper
Closable nostrils – to keep out water
White colour of babies – help camouflage from
Adaptive Features – Physical cont'd
Hind flippers – act as oars propelling them quickly
through the water
Large eyes – have good ability to see underwater in
Adaptive Features - Physiological
Sensitive whiskers – to detect the movement of their
prey in dark or murky water
Blubber – to provide body insulation to keep warm in
cold water and ice, to provide energy when there is
little food and to improve swimming ability
Tears – the eye is constantly protected from salt by
Adaptive Features - Behavioural
The seals can put their flippers together to save body
heat and newly weaned pups can use it as an energy
The males use their sharp teeth to fight other males for
territory and for mating rights.
Their sharp teeth aid in the capture and consumption
Phytoplankton Food Chain
My Answers to my Questions
How do seals catch their prey?
They use their super sensitive whiskers to locate the
prey, their claws and teeth to catch the prey, and
their back teeth to grind shells or tough parts in
Do seals have any predators, if so, what are they?
Harp seals are hunted by killer whales (orcas), polar
bears and humans.
How are seals adapted to their environment?
They have a large number of physical, physiological
and behavioural adaptations as seen in previous
Hodge, Judith, Seals, Sea Lions and Walruses, David
Encyclopedia Britannica Junior – from Manukau