Gray seals are a member of the family of “true” seals and have the Latin name Halichoerus grypus which means “sea pig with a hooked nose” on account of the large “Roman nose” appearance of the males. They are found in the North Atlantic with two major populations around the coast of Canada and the United Kingdom. They breed on remote, often unihabitated islands but are increasingly found on sandy and rocky beaches closer to human habitation. Gray seals were hunted throughout much of their range until the mid-20th century, and are still hunted in some areas, although they are protected under national and international legislation in the United Kingdom.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Third Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780128043271
ISBN (Print)9780128043813
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • phocid seal
  • Pup production
  • sand lance
  • sexual dimorphism
  • true seal


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