Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Species Account/Halichoerus grypus

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Halichoerus grypus (Grey Seal)

Where found: The Grey Seal is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. In Britain and Ireland, the Grey Seal breeds in several colonies on and around the coasts; notably large colonies are at the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast (about 6,000 animals), and North Rona off the north coast of Scotland and Lambay Island off the coast of Dublin. In Canada, they are typically seen in areas like the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and the Maritimes, and Quebec. In the United States one finds them year round off the New England coasts (in particular Maine and Massachusetts) and slightly less frequently in the Middle Atlantic States, though their natural range extends to Virginia.

Description: Grey seals feed on a wide variety of fish, taken at depths down to 70m (230ft) or more. Sandeels are important in their diet in many localities. Cods and other gadids, flatfish, herring and skates are also important locally. However, it is clear that Grey seals will eat whatever is available, including octopus and lobsters. The average daily food requirement is estimated to be 5kg (11lb), though the seals do not feed every day and they fast the breeding season.

Young seal at beach in the faroe islands (behind rocks).JPG