The Northern Fur Seal, Callorhinus ursinus, is closely related to the sea lion in which they both posses tightly rolled external ears, unlike true seals which have tiny ear holes with no external ear flaps. They belong to the family Otariidae, one of three groupings of pinnipeds, webbed or wing-footed marine mammals. They can be found in the temperate North Pacific and the sub-arctic coastal waters. They spend all of their time in the open ocean except when they come ashore for breeding, birthing, molting, or are sick. Males are on average 30 to 40% larger than the females and weigh 4.5 times greater.
PLM and SEM analysis are key to the identification of hairs. FTIR and Raman are not suitable due to poor scatter; spectra indicative to protein. EDS is also insufficient for identification.