The seal is a popular sight in the sheltered waters around Scotland's coast. They can be seen in Orkney, the Shetland Islands, the Hebrides and the Monach Isles, which is the second largest breeding colony of grey seals in the world.
Each individual seal has a unique hide pattern of fine, dark spots (or light spots on a dark background in some varieties), they vary in colour from brownish black to tan or grey with underparts that are generally lighter. The body and flippers are short, with a proportionately large, rounded head. The nostrils appear distinctively V-shaped and as with other true seals, there is no ear flap, or pinna (visible part of the ear that resides outside of the head). A relatively large (for a seal) ear canal may be visible behind the eye. Including the head and flippers, they may reach an adult length of 1.85 metres and a weight of 130 kilograms. Female Common Seals are generally smaller than males.