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The Australian Fur Seal, along with the Cape Fur Seal, is the largest of the fur seals. Males (bulls) are approximately 2 -2.3 metres long and weigh 218-360kg, and females (cows) are approximately 1.5 metres long and 36-113kg.
Bulls are dark greyish-brown with a mane of coarse hair. Cows and immature seals are silver-grey to brown with a creamy yellow throat and chest.
They are called fur seals because they have two layers of fur: the outer layer of dark guard hairs is on top, with an undercoat so light, thick and dense that the skin stays dry even when the animal is underwater.
Australian Fur Seals belong to the group of seals called otariidae, or eared seals. They have external ear flaps. Their front legs are flippers and their hind legs are rear-facing, which means they can swivel under the body for rapid movement
The seals moult, breed, and rest on land, congregating on rock platforms, reefs, and rocky or pebbly beaches. They also use structures such as beacons and oil platforms as ‘land’ at sea.