Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gray Seal Surprise (OWT)

1. Napping-kab Gray Seal napping on South Beach in Chatham, MA 9-13-11

 

2. splashing-kab Splashing into the Ocean 9-13-11

 

3. safety-kab Safe!

When we were out at South Beach two weeks ago we came upon a group of seals lounging in the sun on the Atlantic side of the beach. As we drew nearer the seals all slowly lumbered into the water except this lone seal. It stayed there so long and was lying there so strangely that we thought it was dead, but as we drew closer it suddenly sprang to life and splashed off into the sea. It is a gray seal I believe due to its long head, but I could not decide if it was a young one or an old one. It was the only furry looking seal I saw and when I googled “gray seals” all the information I got was basically the same on every page. Nothing I found described this furry type of seal. All of the pages informed me of the cool fact that a gray seal's scientific name, Halichoerus grypus, derives from the Greek words meaning "hook-nosed sea pig." Finally I found one page that described the process of molting. This is when a seal sheds its skin and it can take up to six weeks to complete. According to the web site Seals-World the seals can get very cranky at this time. However, not one web site I visited noted that seals are mammals, which they are, and none of them told me what a group of seals is called. So I googled that question and discovered conflicting information. I read that a group of young seals is called a pod, but a colony of seals is called a herd! What? How many seals make a colony and why is it not just called a colony instead of a herd? Is there anyone out there smarter than the internet please?

Links to Gray Seal Facts and Info:

Our World Tuesday!

13 comments:

  1. Great shots Kathie. Your seals are so different to ours.

    I bet you had a great time with your son and family!

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  2. They are cool critters, Kathie! Great shots!

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  3. How exciting to come across these seals! Love this blog Kathie with all the info and great images of your birding shots!

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  4. A very cool creature to see napping on the beach.

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  5. Hi Kathie

    It certainly had an unusually shaped head it must have been fun to see.

    Regards
    Guy

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  6. Lovely shots of the lazy seal:) I wouldn't know why some call it a pod and others a herd. Could it be British English versus American English? Just guessing.

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  7. Kathie, wonderful shots and an adventure for humans and seals!

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  8. Great post!! Boom &n Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  9. Love this post - I can see why they get called hook-nosed sea pig! I haven't seen those before. Thanks - great shots of them.

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  10. Great shots, he does have a strange shaped head. I think I would be a bit cranky too if I was trying to shed a rather moth-eaten looking fur coat..!

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  11. Kathie, I've absolutely never seen a seal that looks like this! Your photos are wonderful - both "resting" and action.

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  12. Marvelous photos! So glad to see him/her back in the water~ thanks, namaste, CArol (A Creative Harbor) linked with Our World Tuesday

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.