Harbor seal sightingsWhen the Sea Lion Center conducts the daily count of sea lions on the dock (at approximately 10 am each day), we occasionally spot a lone harbor seal. The physical differences between sea lions and seals were noted in the Feb. 10 update. However, there are also behavioral differences.
We have also discussed sea lions' thigmotactic behavior (the tendency of animals to move close to or away from one another). Most who observe the PIER 39 sea lions will notice their tendency to lie close to or even on top of each other. Harbor seals are not like that. They are more introverted than their sea lion cousins which could account for seeing only one or two at a time on the docks. Unlike sea lions, they tend to keep to themselves.
When harbor seals do show up at the docks, the sea lions' attitude toward them is one of indifference. There is little to no interaction. That said, harbor seals and sea lions do indirectly compete for food, because they have similar diets. However, there's no duking it out for a single fish.