One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A seal with a dark back and pale underside, occurring in warm waters of the northern hemisphere.
Genus Monachus, family Phocidae: two or three species, including M. tropicalis of the Caribbean and the endangered M. monachus of the Mediterranean and adjacent seas
- ‘Thanks to a courageous conservation project, the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal's future looks much brighter.’
- ‘Hawaii may have no native terrestrial mammals, but the islands do harbor one native aquatic mammal, the monk seal, and one native flying mammal, the hoary bat.’
- ‘The islands serve as nesting grounds for green sea turtles, home to millions of seabirds, and a refuge for rare monk seals.’
- ‘Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Hawaiian monk seal has had some of its coastal habitat protected.’
- ‘An endangered Hawaiian monk seal is back home in waters off an island in Hawaii after surgeons removed a large fishhook from his mouth.’
monk seal/ˈməNGk sē(ə)l/
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