Recovered seals back in Wadden Sea

This video from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

January 7 2016

For the rehabilitation seals Ute, Jelle and Dave, today was a day of celebration. They went safe and sound back to the Wadden Sea. Jelle and Dave were found in September, Ute in November.

These three common seals had been starving because of lungworm infection. After recovery in Ecomare, they could be freed again.

Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Seal Influenza A(H10N7) Virus in Harbor Seals and Gray Seals from the Netherlands: here.

Seal on porch in California, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Seal found on porch in Oceanside (NBC San Diego)

7 January 2016

Expect the unexpected. A seal on a porch. El Niño-California

Wadden Sea seals counted

This video says about itself:

Grey Seals (Part 1/3)

18 July 2013

Shortlisted for KFF 2007 – International Documentary Shorts.

A large part of Celtic legend, Grey Seals have been revered in Ireland until recent times. Despite being protected by law, they continue to be prosecuted and in 2004 this culminated in the brutal slaughter of 60 seal pups at the Blasket Islands. This highly charged story is an account of a seal colony living on the very edge of Europe and on the very edge of survival.

Directed by: Jacquie Cozens

These two videos are the sequels.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Seals in Wadden sea counted – 30-12-2015

“A little bit less common seals and a bit more gray seals compared to last year.” That’s the result of the count of the number of seals in the international Wadden Sea this year; researchers saw 26,435 harbour seals and 4,521 gray seals. That somewhat less common seals were counted was already expected. In recent years the growth became less and last year these seals had to deal with a flu virus which mainly in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein killed many seals.

Of the common seals, 7,666 were in the Dutch part of the Wadden sea. Of the gray seals, 3,544.

Grey seal twins on desert island?

Grey seal twins on Richel island? Photo: © Geert Aarts, IMARES

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands; about grey seals:

Two pups and one mother – 26-12-2015

On the uninhabited Wadden sea island Richel researchers from IMARES in early December saw a seal mother with two pups. This is unusual, because seals basically actually always get just one baby. Twins are very rare in the seal family. The researchers therefore believe that they are possibly not real twins, but one of the two pups’ biological mother was lost or the pup had already been weaned. The pup then perhaps went looking for another female to drink milk. Twins or not, it is a beautiful sight!


Seal mothers are pretty tough to other females and their pups. Also to young ‘strange’ seals they can thereby respond quite aggressively. A new pup is not accepted simply. The researchers found that the female several times did biting movements to one of the two pups, but after a while she stopped that. Eventually the two young seals were both able to drink with her.

Fossil seal discovered in South America

Figure 6, from Valenzuela-Toro et al. (2015) shows the relative size of Australophoca changorum (number 12 in the figure) to other assemblages of fossil and living pinnipeds, from other places (based on latitude) and geologic times

This picture shows the relative size of newly discovered fossil seal Australophoca changorum (number 12 in the figure) to other fossil and living pinnipeds (seal relatives), from other places (based on latitude) and geologic times.

From Pyenson Lab:


by Ana Valenzuela-Toro

Australophoca, a new dwarf fossil seal from South America

Today, my South American colleagues and I announce the publication of a new species of fossil seal from the western coast of South America. The name of the new genus and species, Australophoca changorum, reflects its austral origin from Chile and Peru, and honors the Changos, a coastal tribe of indigenous people who lived in the Atacama (from northern Chile to southern Peru), and were short in stature. The description, published in Papers in Palaeontology, provides a scientific name for a dwarf species of true seal from the late Miocene Bahía Inglesa and Pisco formations of Chile and Peru, respectively. One of the paratype specimens that we identified was originally recovered from Cerro Ballena in the Atacama Region of Chile; the type specimen is USNM 438707.

This tiny fossil seal was smaller than a living harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and ranks among the smallest true seals ever described, including both living and fossil ones. Interestingly, in the past ~11-3 million years, the western coast of South America seems to have been only occupied by true seals (or phocids), a fact that stands in stark difference to what we know about pinniped communities from other parts of the world, and other time[s] in the geologic record. This unusual feature of the pinniped community in western South America fits into a broader pattern of ecological turnover seen in the fossil record of marine consumers, including pinnipeds and seabirds, throughout the Southern Hemisphere, since the late Miocene.

Seal in Biesbosch national park

This video is called Scotland’s Big 5 – Harbour Seal.

Translated from Staatsbosbeheer in the Netherlands:

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

In the [freshwater national park] Biesbosch for some time a seal has been swimming around. A boater saw the animal swim last night and informed forester Thomas van der Es.

Probably the seal swam via the Haringvliet or the New Waterway into the nature reserve. Because there is plenty of fish in the Biesbosch, the animal will remain strong enough to swim back to sea under its own power.

It remains a rarity to see these animals in the Biesbosch. … The last two observations were in March 2002 and in December 2012.

Young harbour seals set free after rehabilitation

This 17 September 2015 Dutch video is about two young harbour seals, Remko and Jip.

Three months ago, they were found as orphans on the beach of Texel island.

After being cared for at Ecomare museum, the seals became strong enough to be set free to swim in the sea; as the video shows.

See also here. And here.