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Temporal range: Late Miocene–Early Pliocene
Acrophoca longirostris.jpg
Acrophoca longirostris, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Phocidae
Genus: Acrophoca
Species: A. longirostris
Binomial name
Acrophoca longirostris
Muizon, 1981

Acrophoca longirostris is an extinct species of pinniped whose fossils have been discovered in Peru and Chile. It is thought to have been the ancestor of the modern leopard seal.

Its fossils have been found alongside those of the marine sloth Thalassocnus and tusked cetacean Odobenocetops, as well as modern animals such as bottlenose dolphins, gannets and cormorants.



Acrophoca was around 1.5 metres (5 ft) long, and was not as well-adapted to swimming as its descendants, possessing less developed flippers and a less streamlined neck. This may indicate that it spent a lot of time near the coast. Its diet probably consisted primarily of fish.[1]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 226. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  • World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures: The Ultimate Visual Reference To 1000 Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Creatures Of Land, Air And Sea ... And Cretaceous Eras (World Encyclopedia) by Dougal Dixon