What Are Some Harp Seal Facts for Kids?


Quick Answer

Harp seals live in the Arctic near places like Alaska and Greenland, and they usually stay around the coasts near floating ice. Their name comes from the patterns that form from their spots once they reach adulthood, which look something like harps. When they are born, they don't have the pattern and are instead covered in fluffy white fur for their first three weeks of life.

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Full Answer

Harp seals spend their days out in the open water, hunting for many different types of fish and marine invertebrates. They often dive very deep under the water to catch their food, but they must surface occasionally to breathe. At night, they go onto land or floating ice to sleep. If they are on ice, they dig holes in the ice to make it easier to move between the water and ice and to give them a place to breathe while diving for food.

Harp seals often travel long distances to find food and reproduce. Most of the time, they live alone, but they get together to reproduce or shed their outer layer of skin and fur. Their gatherings have no real social structure or ranking. The seals congregate to reproduce in the winter and to molt in the spring.

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