Pinnipedia are large, mostly marine carnivores that evolved from a primitive land Carnivora about 25 MYA. Their bodies are adapted for life in water, although they mate and give birth on land. They have greatly foreshortened extremities. The hands and feet have evolved into flippers. The hind flippers extend backward and act as a tail. The fore and powerful hind flippers propel their heavy, spindle-shaped bodies through the water or over rocky shores and beaches.


Rocky Shore Harbor Seal Elephant Seal Fibrinolytic Enzyme Harp Seal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica H. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Central Blood BankPittsburghUSA

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