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Common Name: Grey Seal

Scientific Name: Halichoerus grypus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Pinnipedia

Genus: Halichoerus

Species: H. grypus


The Grey Seal has two subspecies, Halichoerus grypus grypus and Halichoerus grypus macrorhynchus. It is a ‘least concern’ on the ICUN List. Grey Seal pups are born with soft, white fur that falls off 2-3 weeks later. Female Grey Seals, or cows, are 7 1/2 ft long and 220-572 pounds, while males, or bulls, are 10 ft long and 375-880 pounds.


The bulls are darker with lighter spots and have a rounder snout and broader shoulders, while the cows are lighter with darker spots. Grey Seals swim in the Atlantic Ocean, in sub-arctic and temperate waters. They live from Canada to the Baltic Sea in places like Great Britain, Norway, Labrador, and Denmark. They can live as far south as New Jersey. Grey Seals rest in quiet beaches and unpopulated offshore islands.


They eat bottom-feeding fish and fish from the continental shelf, like flounder, herring, sand eels, and cod. Grey seals also enjoy octopus, squid, and crustaceans. Really, it’ll eat any ocean life available, including the occasional seabird. Like all other mammals, pups nurse from their mothers. Grey Seals don’t like people and are skittish around them. Because they eat in places bountiful in fish, they often get tangled in nets and die.


Author: Kennedy J

Publish: 05/2009


Sources: Wikipedia (search: Grey Seal, Gray Seal) Photo Credit:






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