Marine evolution: Harp seal

Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution
January 28, 2015
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Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution

Species that feed on fast swimming fish, like this harp seal, have evolved long jaws with numerous teeth to catch their prey. Smithsonian scientist Neil Kelly used a novel, quantitative approach to compare dietary data of living marine species with measurements of their skulls and teeth and found that distantly related animals with shared diets evolved similar adaptations to successfully live in the sea. (Photo by Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution)