Two kinds of seals
In the Dutch part of our North Sea, two types of seals live: the common seal (Phoca Vitulina) and the gray seal (Halichoerus Grypus). The common seal has always lived here. The gray seal has only been living here since 2004. How can you distinguish between a common seal and a gray seal? You can find it in the table below.
|Characteristics||Common seal||Gray seal|
|Appearance||It has a small, round head and a short neck.|
The nostrils are V-shaped.
They have brown fur with dark spots and dots.
|It has a long, pointed snout.|
The gray seal is also known as the ‘conical seal’. This is due to the shape of the skull.
They have dark gray or black fur with dark spots and dots.
|Height and weight adult female||160 cm|
|Height and weight of adult male||150 kg||350 kg|
|Way of life||Seals are solitary animals in the sea. Yet on land they can be resting or sunbathing by the hundreds. They often lie in a banana position (head and tail up).||Seals are solitary animals in the sea. Yet on land they can be resting or sunbathing by the hundreds. They often lie in a banana position (head and tail up).|
|Mating||In summer||In winter|
|Gestation period||11 months||11 months|
|After the suckling period||The pup is then left by the mother. It is then dependent on itself for food||The mother leaves the pup and returns to the sea. She does not return to her puppy|
|Where does it occur?||It is a widespread seal species that occurs in Europe, America, and Asia||It is a seal species that occurs in both Europe and America. There are also large populations in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and Canada|
|Busy period at A Seal||The common seal is brought in almost year-round. The first busy period is the pupping season (July). The second busy period is the lungworm season, which occurs from September. Often, you will see that older pups become ill during this time.
Sick, dehydrated, or malnourished common seals and lungworm patients are also brought in throughout the rest of the year.
|The gray seal is mainly brought in during the winter. They come in during the pupping season (from mid-November to spring), and once they are strong enough, they are released back into the sea.
Sick, dehydrated, or malnourished gray seals and lungworm patients can also be brought in throughout the rest of the year. However, this is an unusual situation.