Flippers and Whiskers

They are fast swimmers. They dart and play in the ocean. On land they are slow. They move like clowns. What are they? They are sea lions, seals, and walruses.

Scientists like to group animals together. Seals, sea lions, and walruses belong to one group. It is a group called pinnipeds (PIN-uh-peds).

Seals live in the oceans of both the northern and southern hemispheres. Almost all types of seals prefer cool or cold water. Only the monk seal can be found in warmer, tropical waters. Seals are often a gray-brown color. In the water, they look black. Seals eat many kinds of fish. They eat salmon, pollock, and hake, plus squid and octopus. Salmon are a favorite. Seals will wait at river mouths for the salmon. The salmon must get past the seals to go up the river.

Seals do not always stay in large groups. Harbor seals often travel alone. They will stick their heads up to watch passing boats.

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