Harbor Seal has claws on his front flippers that are used to help get a grip when he is pulling himself up out of the water onto a warm rock for some sun. (He also uses them for disputes and scratching the occasional itch.) The tail flippers are not much use in crawling around on dry land, but they are his main means of locomotion in the water, stroking them up and down like a dolphin. Harbor Seal has hair as can clearly be distinguished in the first picture below. Once he goes into the water it slicks down into a smooth surface as seen in the second picture. He is the epitome of streamlined speed in the water.

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal likes his haul-outs and he understands the ocean very well, but even Harbor Sea sometimes picks the wrong rock or forgets to watch for the rogue wave. When he makes this kind of a mistake, however, it is not as serious as when it happens to us.

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