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The Australian Fur Seal


New World Explorer

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The Australian Fur seal is a type of eared seal, and also the largest of all fur seals around the world! They are mostly restricted to the islands of the Bass Strait, Tasmania and Southern Victoria. Amongst the 10 established breeding colonies found in Australia, six of them are found right here in Victoria! 

There are visible differences in appearance between the males and females, known as sexual dimorphism. Females can weigh between 50-120kg and are a pale fawn-grey colour with a pale-yellow throat and underside. Males tip the scale at a hefty 220-360kg and are dark grey-brown in appearance with a pale underside, with a dark, coarse mane running over their necks and shoulders once mature. 

The coat of the Australian fur seal has a woolly under layer which aids in trapping in air. With the seal’s layer of fat, this woolly undercoat creates a highly effective insulation and waterproofing system.  

These seals are very skilled hunters, with their diet consisting almost solely on bony fish, squid and octopus. They have also been known to sneakily take advantage of fish farms and fishing net catches.

Fun facts:

  • An Australian fur seal can dive up to 150m.

  • They have similar teeth to dogs and bears.

  • Females will generally mate 6-10 days after giving birth to their pup.

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