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The seal family is a much loved group of animals. Characterised by their rotund bodies and big doe eyes, who could help but fall in love? But are they just fun balls of fat — or is there another side to this diverse family? Seals are top predators, the tigers of the sea shore, with devastating capabilities. Grey seals have even been seen killing harbour porpoises. There is no doubt seals are creatures of contrast — aggressive but playful, curious but predatory. There are more than 30 different kinds of seals.

But for all their good and bad sides, seals are essential to the oceans; like predators on land, they regulate prey populations and maintain a healthy ecosystem. For the sake of the oceans, and ultimately for our own well-being it’s vital that they remain. We explore the fascinating lives behind the bullies in blubber.