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The Inbetweeners | by Tim Melling
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The Inbetweeners

This is a bunch of "teenage" Grey Seals, though I think the correct term is herd. Their scientific name Halichoerus grypus translates as hook-nosed sea-pig. In Britain Grey Seal pups are born in autumn (usually September to December depending on location), so these taken in late July are likely to be about ten months old. Females become sexually mature when about 4 years old, but males are not capable of holding a harem until they are about 8 years old. Males and females come ashore on breeding areas known as rookeries each autumn. Females pregnant from the previous breeding season come ashore to give birth. Then they mate just two weeks later, while they are still suckling their offspring. Gestation is 8.5 to 9.5 months but they have delayed implantation for 2.5 months, which brings the time between mating and birth to about a year. On the east coast of England there are breeding colonies in Northumberland, Lincolnshire and Norfolk, and they are incredibly site faithful to their natal colony. I photographed these youngsters on Coquet Island in Northumberland, not far from their breeding colony on the Farne Islands. Bizarrely this photograph reminds me of the original graphics on Charlie's Angels (the 1970s TV programme, not the more recent films), with the centre one facing forward, the left one facing left, and the right one facing right. Just me then? See here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie%27s_Angels

 

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Taken on July 26, 2018