Pagophilus – Harp seal

Named after the black, curved marking on their backs that resembles a harp!

Harp seal has a pale grey coat when it’s dry and steel blue when wet. Their tail and head are black, whereas their front flippers and stomach are white. The harp-like markings are on the back and sides of their body, then disappear at the hind flipper.

Females only nurse their newborns for around 12 days. After that, the pups are on their own, but they are still unable to hunt for a few weeks. Therefore, they obtain energy from their fat reserves and could lose up to 50% of their body weight. During this period, the pups will shed their white coat and grow silver-grey coats.