PORT PHILLIP BAY


Australian Fur-seal 

Arctocephalus pusillus

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Carnivora
Family:
Otariidae
Genus:
Arctocephalus
Species:
pusillus

Other Names

  • Australo-african Fur-seal

General Description

Males have dark grey-brown fur (grey when wet) with a distinct mane of thick hair on the neck. Females have a lighter, white-yellow throat. Young seal pups are black-brown with grey underparts. Ear visible behind each eye. Up to 2.3 m long.

Biology

Australian Fur Seals change their diet from season to season, eating squid, octopus and fish. Killer Whales and White Sharks are probably their main predators. They were killed in Victorian waters for their skins until partially protected in 1891 and fully protected in the 1980s.

Humans interactions include:
Vulnerable to oil spills.

Habitat

Coastal and continental shelf waters, up to 180 km offshore.

Open water

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Mammals Seals

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater Above surface

Max Size

2.3 m

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • CITES : Trade restrictions (Appendix II)
  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Fitzgerald, E.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald is a Senior Curator of palaeontology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Jefferies, R.

Dr. Ryan Jefferies is a volunteer online editor at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Fitzgerald, E. & Jefferies, R., 2011, Australian Fur-seal, Arctocephalus pusillus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/3852

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