Grey seals feed on a wide range of fish species, and also take crustaceans, cephalopods and the occasional seabird. When feeding they typically dive to depths of 30 to 70 metres. 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. The pups are born with a creamy white natal coat and stay in the rookery surviving on their blubber reserves until after the moult, they then go to sea and may disperse over large distances. Seals can be found basking on rocks on the Arran coastline all year round.
5cm x 8.5cm
The bottlenose dolphin is one of the most well-known species of dolphin. This stocky species has a torpedo-shaped body, a short beak and pointed flippers. They are usually dark grey on the back with paler grey flanks and a white or pinkish belly. An active species, the bottlenose dolphin engages in much energetic behaviour, including breaching, lobtailing and bow-riding. It has also been observed 'playing games' with seaweed and other objects. Dolphins are highly intelligent animals; they have a sophisticated echolocation system and communicate via a range of sounds. Although lone individuals occur, this is typically a very sociable animal, living in groups numbering between 10 and 100 individuals; even larger groups may form offshore.
3.5cm x 12cm