Seals, Sea Lions (Pinnipeds)

The word pinniped means fin or flipper-footed and refers to marine mammals that have front and rear flippers. This includes seals, sea lions and walruses. There are 3 families of pinnipeds: phocids (seals), otariids (sea lions) and walruses. Near Farewell Harbour Lodge, our viewing is primarily for seals and sea lions.

Seals or phocids are sometimes called earless or true seals and they can be distinguished by looking anterior of their eyes where they have ear holes but no external ear flaps. They also have small front flippers and move on land by flopping around comically on their bellies.

Sea lions, or otarrids, are sometimes called eared seals. You can recognize them by their flippers and ears with ear flaps. They have large front flippers and can actually walk on their flippers but can also be seen waddling on their bellies.

It is quite common for us to Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals and sometimes California Sea Lions.