The harp seal Phoca groenlandica
is member of the 'true seal' family. Like all true seals, it has a tapering and pointed muzzle, small, clawed pectoral flippers, and small hind flippers that cannot rotate under the body. Like similar species, it has beaded whiskers on the muzzle.The harp seal is a moderately plump seal, with a small, slightly pointed head and a moderately thick neck. It can reach 1.9 m in length. It has a short muzzle and moderately large eyes. It is most easily recognised by the its colour pattern. It has a silvery white body, with a black head and a broad swath of black on either side meeting at the shoulders. Some harp seals may occasionally be more of a sooty grey or with scattered black blotches.