Seals are mammals, they belong to the order Pinnepedia and the family Phocidae, and are thought to have evolved from otter-like ancestors on the shores of the North Atlantic around 15 million years ago.
- Species - Common Seal, also known as Harbour Seal
- Latin name - Phoca vitulina
- Distribution (world) - Britain, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Iceland, East and West coast of Canada, Alaska, California and Hokkaido (Japan)
- Distribution (Britain) - Scottish Mainland and Islands, Northern Ireland, The Wash and the East Coast of England.
- Size - Males; up to 1.8 metres and 120kg,
- Females; up to 1.5 metres and 100kgs
- Longevity In the wild males may live up to 20 years old and females to 25 years old. In captivity males and females live slightly longer.
- Breeding - Males reach sexual maturity at 4 - 6 years old, Females at 3 - 5 years.
- Pupping Sites - Sheltered rocky islands, sand banks and estuaries.