Skull 4

Skulls: Heads and Tales Exhibit

Take a closer look at this animal skull. What can this skulls tell you about the animal's diet? Their eyesight? Their behaviors? Their place in the food web?

Skull 4 / CAS:MAM:22555 by California Academy of Sciences on Sketchfab

Static images:

skull side view

skull front viewFront

This skull belonged to a harbor seal.

Habitat: beaches and rocky outcrops of North American coastline

Diet: Carnivores

  • Fish, crabs, squid, and shrimp

Average Life Span: 25-30 years

Size: 3.5–6.6 feet

Weight: 110-375 pounds

Harbor seal pups able to swim at birth and after only a few days are able to dive for up to two minutes. Harbor seals are part of the "true seal" family, characterized by their lack of external ears as well as limited locomotion on land due to small forelimbs.

Sources: Los Angeles Zoo: harbor seal and Aquarium of the Pacific: harbor seal

View more skulls


The Skulls exhibit at the Science Learning Center gives visitors a chance to see and touch real (and some replica) animal skulls, many from local animal species. Special thanks to Dr. Ted Stankowich of the Mammal Lab and Suellen Jacob in the Biological Sciences Department for lending these interesting specimens to the SLC.

3D images courtesy the California Academy of Sciences; physical specimens are part of the Academy's Ornithology & Mammalogy collections.

All marine mammal stranding activities were conducted under authorization by the National Marine Fisheries Service through a Stranding Agreement issued to the California Academy of Sciences.

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