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Harbor seal

Phoca vitulina


Since 1988, I have been observing a population of Harbor seals that use a haul out rock near my home in Downeast Maine. Recently I was asked by a biologist why seals "porpoise" like this and didn't have a single answer. There seem to be many purposes to porpoise... to see where they are going in relation to landmarks, to impress when they arrive at a haul out site (rocks where seals are resting, that was the case in this photo), to keep track of each other*, to herd and startle fish, for the shear joy of it! * often when the seals leave the haul out as a group they will all porpoise though not in sync

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Spotted by

Maine, USA

Spotted on May 4, 2011
Submitted on May 4, 2011

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