Physical Characteristics of Seals

••• seal image by Janet Wall from

If you’re planning a trip to the zoo or aquarium, teaching children beforehand about the animals they will see can make the upcoming trip more of an adventure. Children will feel like they are explorers, looking for the animals they have only heard about and seen in pictures. Seals are often a favorite of children, so start by teaching them the physical characteristics of these lovable creatures.


Different types of seals are different colors. Seals can range from a very light gray, silvery color to almost charcoal black. Some are the same color throughout, while others have spots that are darker or lighter than the rest of their bodies. Additionally, some types of seals are a rust color


Male seals can grow to be between 154 and 375 lbs and females can reach to be between 110 and 331 lbs. They generally measure between 1.2 and 2.0 meters in length.


Seals have a rounded figure that tapers off at the ends. They have modified flippers for limbs. The foreflippers are webbed, with five blunt claws and covered with hair. The hind flippers also have five digits and are webbed with hair. Seals can spread their hind flippers open so that they look like small fans. They have a rounded head with a blunt snout, and whiskers coming out of the upper lips and cheek. Behind the back flippers, there is a short, flat tail.


About the Author

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.

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