Seals are a group of animals known as pinnipeds. There are 33 known living species of pinnipeds in the world today. Walruses also fall into this category.

Animal Profile



Seals usually live up to 25 years.


Seals’ eyes are excellent at seeing underwater. Their eyesight is not as good above the water.


Seals differ in size. A fur seal usually grows to about one and a half metres whereas an elephant seal can grow to five metres long!


Seals use their whiskers to search for food. They are highly sensitive.


Although a seal may look awkward clambering over the rocks, they are completely at home in the water and excellent swimmers.


Pollution and global warming are threatening seals health, their environment and their food.

Did you know?

Seals float on their side when sleeping at sea.

Seals in New Zealand

Seals were nearly hunted to extinction in New Zealand in the 1700s and 1800s. All seals, whales and dolphins in New Zealand waters are protected under our Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978.

Did you know?

New Zealand fur seals have been known to dive deeper than 238 metres, and for as long as 11 minutes! How long can you hold your breath underwater?