Species of the Month
Phoca vitulina, Heligoland, Germany
Vernacular name: Common Seal, also know as Harbour Seal
Length: 140 cm (female) – 170 cm (male)
Weight: 100 kg – 150 kg
Habitat: Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Northern Hemisphere
Conservation status: Least Concern
First described: by Linnaeus in 1758
The Common Seal is an earless seal in the family Phocidae, found along temperate and arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of the Pinnipedia (walruses, eared seals, and true seals), they are found in coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Baltic and North Seas.
Among the "big five" of the northwest European Wadden Sea the Common Seal doubtless is the eyecatcher. The other four larger animals of the region are the Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus, the Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena, the White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, and the European Sea Sturgeon Acipenser sturio.
See also: Species of previous months