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Seal Prints

Find your favourite print of all different kind of pinnipeds from the polar regions. Pinnipeds comprise the extant families Odobenidae (whose only living member is the walrus), Otariidae (the eared seals: sea lions and fur seals), and Phocidae (the earless seals, or true seals). Although pinnipeds are widespread, most species prefer the colder waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They spend most of their lives in the water but come ashore to mate, give birth, moult or escape from predators, such as polar bears and orcas.

Phocids are known as true or "earless" seals. These animals lack external ear flaps and are incapable of turning their hind-flippers forward, which makes them more cumbersome on land. In water, true seals swim by moving their hind-flippers and lower body from side to side. All true seals are members of the family Phocidae, including leopard seal, elephant seal, crabeater seal, and weddell seal.

Otariids are also known as eared seals due to the presence of visible ears. These animals rely on their well-developed fore-flippers to propel themselves through the water. They can also turn their hind-flippers forward and "walk" on land. Otariids consist of two types: sea lions and fur seals. Sea lions are distinguished by their rounder snouts and shorter, rougher pelage, while fur seals have more pointed snouts, longer fore-flippers and thicker fur coats that include an undercoat and guard hairs.

Odobenidae consists of only one living member: the modern walrus. This animal is easily distinguished from other extant pinnipeds by its larger size (exceeded only by the elephant seals), nearly hairless skin and long upper canines, known as tusks. Like otariids, walruses are capable of turning their hind-flippers forward and can walk on land. When moving in water, the walrus relies on its hind-flippers for locomotion, while its fore-flippers are used for steering. In addition, the walrus lacks external ear flaps.

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