Curtin, Charles B. Department of Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Wyss, Andre Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, California.
Last reviewed:March 2020
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Carnivorous mammal members of the Pinnipedia, including seals, sea lions, and the walrus. Pinnipeds belong to the clade or suborder Pinnipedia. Taxonomically, pinnipeds are divided into three families—Odobenidae (walrus; Fig. 1), Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals), and Phocidae (true or earless seals). Collectively, there are more than 30 extant species of pinnipeds. Geographically, all species of pinnipeds are found along coastal areas from the Antarctic to the Arctic regions. Although many species have restricted distribution [for example, the Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica) of Lake Baikal in Russia], the group as a whole has worldwide distribution. See also: Carnivora; Mammalia; Zoogeography
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