Harbour Seal

Harbour Seal
Hugh Clark FRPS

Scientific name:

Phoca vitulina


The smaller of our two seal species, harbour seals (also called common seals) can grow to almost two metres long. Very variable in colour, from blonde to black, but generally greyish with dark spots. Common seals are more commonly found around sheltered shores and estuaries, where they haul out on sand banks and on beaches. When out of the water, they sometimes hold their body in a curved ‘banana’ position, with their head and tail both in the air at the same time. Like grey seals, they feed on fish. The young are born during the summer.

How to identify:

<p>Can be told from grey seal by its smaller size and by the shorter head with a blunter, more dog-like profile.</p>

Fantastic facts:

Common Seals can stay underwater for up to 10 minutes at a time