Our knowledge of the extinct West Indian monk seal, Monachus tropicalis, is scant due to heavy exploitation following European colonization of the New World. We present previously unknown accounts of the species, including unpublished field notes of biologist E. W. Nelson, who observed a small number of wild seals in June of 1900. Records indicate that M. tropicalis may have had a long pupping season, occurred in large groups (up to 100) when abundant, probably ate fish and crustaceans, were preyed upon by sharks, and that young and adult seals may have assorted themselves into different age groups when hauled out. Additional records extend the known range of M. tropicalis to include the north coast of South America as far east as Guyana. We also present previously unavailable measurements from a large series of adult skulls and mandibles (n= 48). Two cases of histocytosis X, carcinoma, or other disease of the hard palate are documented from among these specimens.