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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/345

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SEA-LIONS AND FUR-SEALS.

scribed by some writers as a kind of marine bears. Their bright, intelligent-looking faces are familiar in all our zoölogical collections, and their sports and antics are always amusing, and never fail to collect a crowd wherever they can be observed.

The true seals live in the northern seas. They are the main reliance of the Eskimo for his support, and supply him with food, PSM V34 D345 The seal phoca vitulina.jpgFig. 1.—The Seal (Phoca vitulina). light, fuel, clothes, thread, strings, and leather. The best-known species is the common seal (Phoca vitulina, Fig, 1), which is common in the European seas, and is often seen in New Brunswick and along the New England coast. It is brownish above and white beneath, mottled, pied, or marbled, and has a handsome hair, which is much prized by the Indians.

The Greenland seal (Phoca groenlandica, Fig. a), also called, from the very conspicuous manner in which the fur of the adult is colored, the harp seal, is the animal of which the Eskimos make the most use. The male is grayish-white with black markings, the female brownish with black, and the young snow-white. The animals live in herds on the floating ice along the Greenland coast, and are sometimes PSM V34 D345 The greenland or harp seal phoca groenlandica.jpgFig. 2.—The Greenland or Harp Seal (Phoca groenlandica). carried to Labrador, Newfoundland, and even to England; and they have recently been shown, by Dr. C. Hart Merriam ("Popular Science Monthly," vol. xxvii, p. 140), to be very abundant in the St. Lawrence River as far up as the Saguenay.

The hooded seal (Stemmatopus cristatus, Fig. 3) is distinguished from the other species by a membranous or muscular sac on the back of the head, which is penetrated by chambers communicating with the nose, and may be inflated