Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Aquatic mammals
Aquatic mammals

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.3.1 The suborder Pinnipedia

The name of this suborder comes from a Latin word meaning ‘wing-footed’, which refers to the modification of limbs into flippers. Most pinnipeds move onto the land from time to time to rest and bask in the sun, and in the breeding season they gather, often in large numbers, on beaches or flat areas of sea-ice to give birth. There are three main families: the eared seals, which include fur seals and sea lions; the earless or true seals; and the walrus. Remember that these mammals are carnivores; in view of their continuing links to land, they are sometimes aptly called ‘amphibious carnivores’.

The other two groups, the sirenians and cetaceans, are fully committed to a life in the water.