Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

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Family OTARIIDAE


Compiler and date details

December 2010 - Updated by Stephen M. Jackson, c/- Queensland Museum, Brisbane, following Van Dyck & Strahan (2008).

31 December 1998 - J.K. Ling (1988); updated by Barry J. Richardson (1999), Centre for Biostructural and Biomolecular Research, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury

Introduction

The eared seals — fur seals and sealions — are marine. As the name implies, otariids have small ear pinnae. The hind limbs are employed in terrestrial locomotion and nails are conspicuous on the middle three pedal digits. Sexual dimorphism in size exists, the males being larger. The tail is present, but short and in mature males the scrotum is external and obvious. The anterior limbs are larger and the neck longer than in phocids. This family includes the only marine mammal endemic to Australia.

Otariids occur in both hemispheres, but are not found in the colder polar and warmer tropical waters. Fish, crustaceans and cephalopods are included in the diet. Gregarious, assembling in large herds during the breeding season, this family includes most of the seals harvested for the fur industry.

 

Excluded Taxa

Otariidae: Phocarctos hookeri (J.E. Gray, 1844)

 

General References

King, J.E. 1989. Otariidae and Phocidae. pp. 1012-1029 in Walton, D.W. & Richardson, B.J. (eds). Fauna of Australia. Mammalia. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 1B 827 pp.

Shaughnessy, P.D. 1999. The action plan for Australian seals. Environment Australia : Canberra. 116 pp.

 

History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
14-Dec-2010 14-Dec-2010 MODIFIED
10-Dec-2010 MODIFIED