|Named By:||N. Rybczynski, M.R. Dawson & R.H. Tedford in 2009|
|Time Period:||Late Oligocene - Early Miocene, 24-21 Ma|
|Location:||Canada, Nunavut, Devon Island - Haughton Formation|
|Size:||Around 1 meter long|
|Fossil(s):||One specimen of an almost complete individual|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Mammalia | Carnivora | Pinnipedia ||
Puijila darwini is an extinct species of seal which lived during the Miocene epoch about 21 to 24 million years ago. Approximately a metre (three feet) in length, the animal possessed only minimal physical adaptations for swimming. Unlike modern pinnipeds, it did not have flippers and its overall form was otter-like, albeit more specialized; its skull and teeth are the features that most clearly indicate that it is a seal.
It is considered to be the most primitive member of the seal family yet found. The genus name is an Inuktitut word for a young seal; the species name honours the English naturalist Charles Darwin. The one known specimen is a nearly complete fossilised skeleton. It is being housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.