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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

Moley!

Thursday 18th November comments: As we are on the topic of second-coat pups (see yesterday’s blog) we thought you would enjoy the photographs of this suburb individual on the Isle of May colonies.

Young seal pups can weigh as much as 45kg when they become independent after just 18-21 days and during this late weaning stage, the pup begin to moult into its ‘adult’ pelage, which is much more sleek and waterproof and a lot less fluffy than the beautiful white ‘lanugo’. On the colonies a small handful, (4-5 individuals) will show a dark pelt which suggests it is influenced by melanism (melanism is the increased development of the dark-coloured pigment in fur). These individuals are known affectionately as ‘moleys’ as they look like large moles! But regardless they are stunning animals and looking at the size of this individual, it is having a good start to life.  

The world of the Grey Seal is as interesting as it is mysterious as not many people get the chance to spend time on active Grey Seal colonies so it’s great to be able to bring it to your front room. Plenty more to follow…

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