Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Odobenidae Pinnipeds ("fin-foots") are large marine mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia, a family (sometimes a suborder or superfamily, depending on the classification scheme) of the order Carnivora. The true seal, sea lion, fur seal and walrus are all pinnipeds.
Pinnipeds are typically sleek bodied and rather large. Their bodies are well-adapted to their aquatic habitat, in which they spend most of their lives. In place of hands, their forelimbs are large flippers (hence the name "fin-foots"), and their bodies narrow out into a tail. The smallest pinniped, the Galapagos Fur Seal weighs about 30 kg when full-grown and is 1.2 metres long; the largest, the male Southern Elephant Seal, is over 4 metres long and weighs up to 2,200 kg (4,850 lb, more than 2 tons). All pinnipeds are carnivorous, eating fish, shellfish, squid, and other marine creatures.
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