#102: Who's Who?

One of the most popular questions the trainers hear is "How do you tell the harbor seals apart?" The answer sounds simple; just by looking at them, but it can take a long time if you don't see the seals every day.

First you need to know who is in the exhibit. We currently have seven Atlantic harbor seals in the plaza exhibit--two males and five females. We can divide them into two easily identifiable groups, the 'spotted' and the 'non-spotted' seals. The spotted seals have distinct dark spots on their necks and bellies. All of the 'spotted' seals are related.

Our spotted seals are Trumpet Cayenne & Chacoda:


The non-spotted family: Amelia and Reggae:


Last but not least, our seventh seal is Lana. She is not related to any of the other seals, but she most resembles the non-spotted family.

Other than the obvious spot patterns, we look for differences in the shape of the head, nose, and eyes. They also differ in their body length and girth, but this can be deceiving. The seals' weight can fluctuate between 10 and 30 pounds depending on the time of year, so weight isn't a reliable way to distinguish individuals.

Now that you've looked at the pictures, will you be able to tell the seals apart on your next trip to the Aquarium? Don't worry if you can't. Start by telling the spotted from the non-spotted first. It took all of us a while to figure out Who's Who too and we see them every day!

1 comment:

  1. I love this cheat sheet! It's a little harder when they're all swimming quickly by the window.

    I'll have to keep studying!


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