The grey seal is Britain's largest native seal species, being bigger (and slightly confusingly more numerous) than the common or harbour seal. Its thick, insulating layer of blubber and waterproof fur allow it to survive in cold water temperatures.

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Overview

Picture of a Grey Seal

Order: Carnivora

Family: Phocidae

Species: Halichoerus grypus

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Population trend: increasing

Distribution: Widespread in the north-east Atlantic, from Spitzbergen to southern Iceland with the largest numbers in British waters.

Habitat: Open sea, rocky islands & coasts; sometimes found on sandy beaches.

Description: Variable colour; bulls usually darker than cows. Pups are white at birth. Streamlined body, large nose & eyes.

Size: Length: males up to 2.7m; female up to 1.7m. Weight: male up to 233kg; female up to 154kg.

Life-span: 26 -38 years.

Food: Fish, crustaceans & molluscs.

The grey seal is Britain's largest native seal species, being bigger (and slightly confusingly more numerous) than the common or harbour seal. Its thick, insulating layer of blubber and waterproof fur allow it to survive in cold water temperatures.

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