Also known as the harbour seal, the common seal is the smaller of the two breeding seals in Great Britain (6). When hauled out it often adopts a characteristic 'head-up, tail-up' posture. The colour is variable, ranging from black-grey to sandy brown with many small spots. The top of the small head is round and the nostrils form a 'V' (2). Males are often darker in colour than females and have a heavier appearance. The white natal coat of the young is shed inside the uterus; pups are therefore born with their first adult coat (2).