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The cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) is a large seal species of South Africa. The adult male cape fur seal has a light greyish-brown body and a dark brown belly, with a mane across the neck and shoulders which becomes lighter in colour with age. The female cape fur seal is browner than the male, but still has the darker brown belly. Pups are born black, and juveniles are generally the same colour as the female, but have lighter fur below the jaw and behind the ears. The head of the adult male cape fur seal is larger and broader than that of the female, and has a low brow, which is lacking in the female. Both sexes have a pointed snout, forward-facing nostrils, and moderately long whiskers which extend past the ears. The ears themselves are small and stick slightly out from the head. The paddle-shaped flippers of the brown fur seal are large and thick, and appear black when wet. The ability to turn the flippers forward helps distinguish fur seals from ‘true’ seals (species in the family Phocidae).


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