Monachus – Mediterranean monk seal

The world’s rarest pinniped species; in 2015, it is estimated that less than 700 individuals survived in 3 to 4 isolated subpopulations

Mediterranean monk seals have small hairs covering their skin, males are black, and females are dark grey, while the fur on their bellies is in a lighter shade. Their snout is flat, broad, and short. They also have small claws on their relatively short flippers.

They can forage at depths up to 250 m (820 ft) but tend to feed in shallow coastal waters. These seals are agile swimmers and can outmaneuver a shark. Therefore, they prefer hunting in wide-open spaces to take advantage of their speed. They are opportunistic predators and commonly feed on octopuses, eels, squids, and fishes.