Australian Fur Seal
- Type: Mammal
- Size: 135 to 227 cm
- Weight: Male- 218 to 360 kg; Female- 41 to 113 kg
- Diet: Carnivore
- Ave. Life Span: 19 to 21 years
- Group Name: Herd or Colony
The Australian fur seal, which is biggest among all fur seals, can be found in the oceans and coastal waters of southern Victoria, Tasmania, and the islands of Bass Strait. Furthermore, they also appear in southern and mid north New South Wales, as well as islands of South Australia.
Some of their distinct characteristics include its broad head, sharp teeth similar to those of bears, huge eyes, whiskers, pointed snout, robust body, brown fur, and flippers. Compared to females, males are bigger in size. One of the main differences between a fur seal and a true seal is that the latter has only a single layer of fur, while all kinds of fur seals have two layers.
This semi-aquatic animal is a great swimmer, which can dive as deep as 200 meters and has excellent hunting abilities. Australian fur seals are classified as carnivores, and their diet typically consists of squids, octopus, and fishes.
Every year, they come ashore to breed, and females usually give birth to one or two babies from October to December. After 4 to 6 months, pups (baby fur seals) are weaned, but they may stay with their mother for about 6 months or longer.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Australian fur seal is listed as Least Concern. However, the species is vulnerable to threats such as bycatch, disease, oil spills, and getting trapped in marine debris.