Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

young mischievous Grey Seal

young mischievous Grey Seal

The Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) is a large seal found along the northern shores of the Atlantic Ocean including western Europe and eastern North America. These mammals reach an impressive size: males can weigh up to 300 kg and reach a length of around 3 m, while females are considerably smaller. This way, Grey Seals are the largest carnivore of most European countries! They are very good swimmers and prey mostly on fish, but will feed also on other animals including invertebrates (e.g., crustaceans, cephalopods) as well as sea birds and even small cetaceans! Grey Seals can be differentiated from Harbor Seals by their much larger size and a rather pointed head. These fascinating creatures were strongly hunted by fishermen until the beginning of the 20th century and almost disappeared completely from the European North Sea. Nevertheless, since a few decades populations are rising again and today Grey Seals can be found quite readily at several places in the Wadden Sea. I have photographed these interesting mammals on the small German island of Helgoland in May 2014.

young cheerful Grey Seal

young cheerful Grey Seal

young jolly Grey Seal

young jolly Grey Seal

young flexible Grey Seal

young flexible Grey Seal

facepalm

facepalm

adult Grey Seal

adult Grey Seal

Grey Seals

Grey Seals

Grey Seals

Grey Seals

Grey Seals

Grey Seals

Grey Seal

Grey Seal

Grey Seal

Grey Seal

young Grey Seal

young Grey Seal

seal colony on Helgoland, May 2014

seal colony on Helgoland, May 2014

seal colony on Helgoland, May 2014

seal colony on Helgoland, May 2014

 

11 responses to “Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

    • 🙂 thanks again – I really like Helgoland!! It’s a beautiful island, only half a day journey from where I live and not too expensive to stay… I’d love to visit it again! And seals are really nice to observe as they are very expressive – at least it appears to me!

  1. Very cute seal! 🙂 We saw lots of harbour seals when we visited Alaska. Also very cute.

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