Scientific name

Halichoerus grypus atlantica

Whale SENSE Region Found:


Protection status

Protected throughout its range

Where to watch:

Gray seals can be found in coastal waters along the U.S. East Coast.

They are commonly seen resting on rocks and beaches along the coast.

What to watch for:

Body: They have short forelimbs (flippers) and lack external ear flaps, instead having a small hole (opening to the ear canal) on either side of their head.

Gray seals have an elongated, horse-like snout.

Males are darker in color, while females tend to have lighter, spotted coats.

Size: Length: 7.5-10 feet, Weight: 550-880 pounds. Males are bigger than females.

Did you know?

  • They often share their habitat with harbor seals.
  • Gray seal pups have white fur call lanugo, which helps absorb sunlight and trap heat to keep them warm.
  • Gray seal moms only nurse their pups for about three weeks! (Pups are born during winter.)

Threats to gray seals

Learn more about gray seals