They are characterized by their streamlined bodies, flippers for swimming, and dense fur or blubber for insulation. Their front flippers are used for propulsion in the water and also for crawling on land, while their hind flippers are used for steering and balance. Pinnipeds are able to hold their breath for extended periods of time and can dive to great depths in search of food. They have a specialized circulatory system that helps them conserve oxygen while diving.
Pinnipeds range in size from the small, 30-pound common seal to the large, 2-ton walrus. They have a sleek and streamlined body shape that is hydrodynamic, allowing them to swim efficiently. They have small eyes and ears, which are adapted to their aquatic lifestyle.
Pinnipeds are found in oceans and coastal regions throughout the world, with different species inhabiting different regions. Some species, such as the gray seal, live in colder Arctic waters, while others, such as the California sea lion, live in warmer regions.
Pinnipeds are highly adapted to their marine environment and have a number of unique adaptations that allow them to survive in this environment. These adaptations include thick fur or blubber for insulation, specialized muscles for swimming, and a streamlined body shape for efficient swimming.
Pinnipeds are carnivorous and their diet consists mostly of fish and marine invertebrates. They have sharp teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to catch and kill their prey.
Pinnipeds have different behaviors depending on the species, some are social and form colonies, while others are solitary. Some species, such as the sea lion, are known for their intelligence and trainability. Some are known to migrate, while others stay in one area throughout the year.
Pinnipeds are divided into three families: Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals), Phocidae (true seals), and Odobenidae (walrus).
There are 18 different species of pinnipeds:
- Family Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals) includes 7 species
- Family Phocidae (earless seals) includes 11 species
- Family Odobenidae (walrus) includes 1 species