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Ribbon Seal


Least concern conservation status

Scientific Classification

Binomial nameHistriphoca fasciata

Range Map

Range of species in blue


The ribbon seal is an earless seal from the family Phocidae. The ribbon seal is the only species of Histriphoca.

Ribbon seals are named for their fur, which has four white markings (ribbons) on black skin. These are a circular marking on both sides, a ribbon around the tail, and a strip around the neck. Females have a much less conspicuous difference in color than males between the ribbons.  

Pups are born with white fur, but over the three years after birth, they begin to develop darker portions of their fur, which become dark rings.  

The ribbon seal has an air sac that is inflatable and is used for vocalizing underwater.  

Male and female ribbon seals grown to the same lengths and weights, weighing up to 95 kg ad growing 1.6 meters long.

Ribbon seals live around Alaska but have been found in Long Beach, Seattle, Washington, and as far south as Morro Bay in California.