Are Seals and Dogs closely Related? The Simple Truth

If you have ever seen a seal up close, or heard one barking at you, it will have been pretty clear that seals are not too far removed from dogs.

The questions we were asking ourselves were:

Are dogs merely seals that have adapted to land?

Are seals dogs that have evolved to live in water?

To find out we took a trip down the evolutionary trail, and this is what we discovered.

Where do Dogs come from?

Dogs come from the family of mammals called Canidae. Other mammals in this family include bears and wolves.

The Canidae group of mammals is a sub group of the Caniformia order.

Where do Seals come from?

Our furry water loving friends the seal come from a super family of mammals called Pinnipeds.

Now here’s the thing..

Pinnipeds also come from the order of Caniformia (which stands for “dog like”).

So are Dogs related to Seals?

Lets take a look at a seal skull and compare that to a dog skull.

Firstly a seal skull:

Image: Public Domain

Image: Public Domain

A dog skull:

Image: Public Domain

Image: Public Domain

It is clear to see that these two types of mammals share a number of genetic traits.

Now let’s look at the overall skeletal structure of each.

A seal skeleton:

By H. Zell - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

By H. Zell – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

A dog skeleton:

By Calsidyrose from Spring, TX, USA (Running Dog) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Calsidyrose from Spring, TX, USA (Running Dog) via Wikimedia Commons

Yes seals and dogs are very closely related. They come from the same family of mammals similar in the way humans are closely related to chimpanzees, gorillas and apes.

Seals and dogs are normally playful and fun loving creatures. In the wild though they can be dangerous and have been known to bite and attack humans. Always be careful when you are interacting with either.

Videos of Seals and Dogs

Seal gives dog a hug

Dog meets seal video

A seal and dog playing in the sea

One Response

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