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Wildlife Sightings Blog

Whale and Dolphin watching on the Isle of Mull

Atlantic Grey Seal

The larger of the two seal species, there is a big difference between males and females. The males can reach 2.5metres and weigh 350kg, whereas females are up to 2metres and 200kg. Both sexes have a long nose and wide apart nostrils. The male has thick rolls of flesh around their neck and chest and their nose is often described as a convex 'Roman' nose.

The pups are born with a white fluffy coat, known as 'lanugo' which means they are not waterproof, due to this they spend the first few weeks lying on the rocky shore and feeding on the fat-rich milk from it's mother. It will then moult this fur and gain it's waterproof adult coat.

Around Mull, Grey seals tend to be seen on the more remote islands such as the Treshnish Isles and the Cairns of Coll and to maximise your chances of seeing this species it would be best to join a boat trip.

Grey Seals on a range of fish species, primarily those that live on or near the seabed. They will also feed on crustaceans and squid.

Grey seals were the first species to be given protection in the UK back in 1914 when the population was almost wiped out. The UK is now home to over 50% of the world's grey seals, with the Hebrides being the largest colony around the British Isles, and the Treshnish Isles in particular is an important site.

Last edited 11/02/2011