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Clappy to meet you! How a striking seal gets the girl

‘Shotgun crack’: Wild seal claps his flippers to ward off rival males

A GREY seal filmed ‘clapping’ is the first recorded striking his flippers in the wild.

While captive seals are trained to clap for applause, this male was doing it as a show of strength for mating, researchers say.

Dr Ben Burville, of Newcastle University, captured the moment at the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland, in 2017.

Alpha male: Seal in video PICTURE: PA

In the video, the male swims near a female, with other males nearby, but his clap sends them packing.

‘I’ve heard the distinctive shotgun-like cracks many times over the years and I felt sure clapping was the source,’ Dr Burville said. ‘One day I heard a couple of claps in the distance. I hit record and, eureka! I got it!’

Researchers say learning more about grey seals could protect them from harm such as noise pollution.