The common seal or
the harbour seal gets 2 m long and weighs up to 150 kg.
It looks like other seals, but rather thicker and broad-framed. Its colour is dark, stone- or yellow-grey on the back with
small light or dark spots. Usually
it has a light grey belly and sides.
The colour varies between seasons, and its hair condition, gender
and age also play a role. Its
habitats are in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and the parts of the
Arctic Ocean influenced by the Golf Stream.
It is common all around Iceland, mostly in the bays on islets and
skerries, and the sands of the south coast.
common seal keeps close to the coast, and during summer it frequents
terra firma when the tide comes in.
It is extremely vary and follows the outgoing tide to be able to
get into the water immediately if it is disturbed.
In spring (May-June) the pups are born on sandy beaches, islets,
and in estuaries. They are
suckled for 4-6 weeks. Even
though the pups are immediately fit for swimming, their mothers carry
them around on their backs or between their flippers in the water and
stay close to them on dry land. The common seal sheds after the birth of the pups and stays
mostly on the shore until this period is over in the beginning of
August. This species seems
to be polygamous and mates in the water after the shedding period.
The development of the embryo is delayed for a while and then
continues during the 9 months’ gestation period.