[AS.] A flesh-eating animal found in great numbers lying on the icebergs or swimming in the waters of both north and south polar regions. Their sharp-pointed teeth enable them to catch the slippery fish on which they feed. The different kinds of seals varv in size and in the color of their fur. The head, shoulders and chest are round, and the body tapers towards the tail. All their feet are webbed ; but the webs of the back feet can be folded up like a parasol, so that they are able to lie close to the body. The webs of the front feet are always stretched out. As the seal lives almost entirely in the water, it has the power of closing both its eyes and its ears. Its body, too, is thickly covered with double fur, which is kept constantly oiled, so that the fur next the body is never wet. Several species are much hunted for their oils and skins, including the common seal, found in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and the harp seal, abundant in Arctic waters. There are other species in the north Atlantic, while in the southern ocean is found the great sea-elephant, so called from its size and the elongation of its nose into a short proboscis. The males of this species are 20 feet long, the females little more than 10 feet. There are other species known as sea-leopards in the southern waters, while in the north Pacific are the sea-lions and sea-bears. Both of these have long hair, but the sea-bears have also a soft and delicate fur, which is highly valued as the seal-skin of commerce. The northern fur seal has its breeding grounds on some small islands in the Behring Sea. These belong to the United States, and only a limited number are permitted to be killed yearly. The killing of these seals in the open seas by Canadian seal fishers, gave rise to a serious international question between Great Britain and the United States.