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Temporal range: Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Superfamily: Pinnipedia
Family: Phocidae
Genus: Leptophoca
True, 1906
  • L. proxima (van Beneden, 1876) (type species)
  • L. amphiatlantica Koretsky, Ray, and Peters, 2012

Leptophoca is an extinct genus of earless seals from the North Atlantic realm.


Leptophoca lenis was coined by Frederick True for a humerus from the Calvert Formation of Maryland.[1] Later, Clayton Ray referred "Prophoca" proxima from the Antwerp region, Belgium, to Leptophoca.[2] A second nominal Leptophoca species, L. amphiatlantica, was coined for specimens found on both sides of the North Atlantic.[3] A 2017 study found proxima and lenis to be the same species, rendering proxima the epithet of the Leptophoca type species, but evidence for the validity of L. amphiatlantica was deemed weak, rendering amphiatlantica a nomen dubium within Leptophoca.[4]


  1. ^ True FW. 1906. Description of a new genus and species of fossil seal from the Miocene of Maryland. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 30(1475):835-840
  2. ^ Ray CE. 1976a. Geography of phocid evolution. Systematic Biology 25(4):391-406.
  3. ^ Irina A. Koretsky, Clayton E. Ray and Noud Peters (2012). "A new species of Leptophoca (Carnivora, Phocidae, Phocinae) from both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean (Miocene seals of the Netherlands, part I)". Deinsea. 15: 1–12. 
  4. ^ Dewaele L, Lambert O, Louwye S. (2017) On Prophoca and Leptophoca (Pinnipedia, Phocidae) from the Miocene of the North Atlantic realm: redescription, phylogenetic affinities and paleobiogeographic implications. PeerJ 5:e3024 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3024