Thursday, March 13, 2014

Seal Comparison

Comparison in Size between Harbor Seals and Gray Seal
While continuing to add keywords to my photos which are in the catalog without any keywords, I came across this photo taken in 2008 on a trip to Cuttyhunk.

The photo shows the difference between gray seals and harbor seals. Harbor seals range up to 5 feet in length and their coat color varies from light gray to dark. This coat color will vary with age, wetness and between different members. Gray seals can range up to 8 feet in length and their color varies among the sexes. Males are darker with you light spots, however females are lighter with dark irregular blotches.

Harbor seals have small and pointed snouts with a small and definite brow and ear openings behind the eyes. Harbor seals nostrils are close-set and form a small V. Gray seals are known for their broad long snouts which leads to their other name Horseheads. Gray seals nostrils are wide-set and form a W.
Gray seal with the W nostril

Gray seal in the Atlantic Ocean eating a shark

Another View of the W Nostril in a Great Seal

Harbor Seal Showing the V Nostril

I hope this helps you identify which common seal you are seeing here off of the New England coast. There are three other seals that can occur of the New England coast but they are much rarer; harp seals, hooded seals, and ringed seals.

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