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  • Writer's pictureMermaid Seren

Fishy February; A-Z of a Mermaid's Friends (H)

H - Harbour Seal

Also known as a Common Seal! - Harbour Seals are one of the two UK seal species; the other being the Grey Seal. Despite being called the ‘Common Seal’ - they are actually less common in the UK than grey seals! - They’re the world’s most widespread pinniped, but the UK has 5% of the global population - Like all true seals, Harbour Seals do not have external ears and when on land, can only move by dragging themselves along with their front flippers - Seals eat lots of fish, but will also munch on cephalopods and crustaceans - Typically, they only dive for a few minutes at a time, but they can dive for half an hour, and down to 90m! - Harbour Seals have 40-50 whiskers on each side of their snout, with around 1500 nerves at the base of each whisker - 10 times more than cats! - Harbour Seals are rated as ‘Least Concern’ by IUCN. They regularly ‘haul out’ to digest food or rest. If you meet one on a beach, please keep dogs away and give it plenty of space! If you suspect the seal is injured, entangled or in need of attention, please contact British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR)


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