CSeal D0012

Harbour Seal

Common seals, sometimes called ‘harbour seals’, are widely distributed across the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Coat colour and pattern vary considerably between different regions.

Common seals around Scotland have attractive coats, mottled with spots and rings, and can be anything between dark brown to pale grey-white. Their backs are often darker than their stomachs and chests.

Males average about 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) in length, while females are slightly smaller, and average 1.4 metres (4.6 feet). Their scientific name – Phoca vitulina – means ‘seal calf’. There are five races of common seal and the UK supports 40 per cent of the European race Phoca vitulina vitulina – equivalent of 5 per cent of the world population.

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