Histriophoca – Ribbon seal

Named after the dark body color with “ribbons” around their necks, hips, and front flippers

The ribbon seal is a medium-sized ice seal that can be easily recognized by two wide white strips and two white circles against black or dark brown fur. One stripe goes around the neck, and another goes around the mid-rear section of the body, while two circles go around the fore flippers on each side.

These seals forage for food during the night and spend most of their time foraging in the water or moving between areas with lighter sea ice and the breeding areas. Their diet varies according to their growth stage. Juveniles primarily feed on shrimp and other small crustaceans, while adults feed on fishes, crustaceans, and cephalopods.