Grey seals feed on a wide range of fish species, and also take crustaceans, cephalopods and the occasional seabird. When feeding they can dive to depths of 30 to 70 metres (3). In autumn females congregate at traditional pupping sites, called rookeries. At birth the pups weigh 14 kilograms, but as the mother's milk contains 60 percent fat, they rapidly put on weight and develop the blubber layer essential for maintaining body temperature when at sea (4). Males come ashore at the pupping sites to mate; they compete for sole access to a group of females (3), and successful dominant males can secure access to up to as many as ten females (3). After mating the seals disperse. The pups stay in the rookery surviving on their blubber reserves until after the moult, they then go to sea and may disperse over large distances (3).
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