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By Dr. J. A. ALLEN.

Curator of the American Museum of Natural History.


The following paper has been prepared at the request of the Secretary of State of the United States by Dr. J. A. Allen, by profession a naturalist and a specialist in mammal

Dr. J. A. Allen,

naturalist, etc., and ogy and ornithology, and at present and for the last curator in the Ameriseven years curator of these departments in the Ameri. can Museum of Nat

ural History, etc. ican Museum of Natural History, in New York City; formery for many years curator at the Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, at Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Allen has given

Experience. special attention to the study of the pinnipedia, or seal tribe, for twenty-five years. In 1870 he published a paper on the fur-seals and sea-lions of the north westcoast of North America entitled “On the Eared Seals (Otariidæ), with Detailed Descriptions of the North Pacific Species," etc. (Bull. Mus. Comp. Zoöl., II, pp. 1-108, Pll. 1-111, Aug., 1870), and in 1880 a monograph of the North American Pinnipedia entitled “History of North American Pinnipeds; a Monograph of the Walruses, Sea-Lions, Sea-Bears, and Seals of North America” (8°, pp i-xvi, 1-785, 1880, forming Vol. XII of the Miscel. Publ. of the Hayden U.S. Geolg. Survey), and in 1887 a paper on “The West Indian Seal (Monachus tropicalis)," (Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. History, II, pp. 1-31, PII. 1-IV, April, 1887).







The common seals, the eared-seals, and the walruses form a wellmarked group of the carnivorous mammalia, constitu

Common Seal, Eared ting a suborder (Pinnipedia) of the order Carnivora.

Seal, and Walrus. They are carnivores, especially modified for aquatic locomotion and semi-aquatic life. Their ancestors were

Ancestors of. doubtless land animals, probably more nearly allied to the bears than to any other existing mammals. They are still dependent on the land or on fields of ice for a Dependence on the resting place, to which they necessarily resort to bring forth their young; They are thus very unlike the sea-cows and the whale tribe, which are strictly aquatic, bringing forth their young in the water, and entirely unfitted for locomotion on land.

The great tribe of Pinnipeds is divisible into three quite distinct minor groups termed families, namely, the walruses (family Odobenide), the eared-seals (family Otariida),

Belong to tribe if and the common or earless seals (family Phocidae). These groups differ notably from each other in many points of structure. The walruses agree with the eared-seals in the structure of the hind limbs, being able to turn the

Differ notably from hind feet forward under the body, which are thus to some degree serviceable as locoinotive or gans on land, and enable them to progress by a clumsy and much const rained method of walking. In the true or earless-seals, on the other hand, the hind limbs can not be turned forward, and thus on land can take no part in locomotion; they remain permanently extended in a line parallel to the axis of the body. This diversity in the structure and function of the hind limbs involves more or less modification of the entire skeleton. It is also reflected in the whole manner of life in the two groups. Aside from this, there are other important structural differences, affecting especially the skull and dentition.

The following synopsis of the Pinnipedia is intended to present a classified list of the species, with a brief statement of Synopsis of Pinni. their distribution, habits, and commercial uses.


from each other.

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