Bearded Seal

Bearded seal on an iceberg in Liefdefjorden in Haakon VII Land in the Svalbard Archipelago as it prepares to move into thw water. Canon EOS 5Ds, 300 mm.

Conservation

Least concern conservation status

Scientific Classification

OrderCarnivora
CladePinnipedia
GenusPhocidae
FamilyErignathus
Binomial NameErignathus barbatus

Range Map

Range of species in blue

Description

The bearded seal, also known as the square flipper seal is a medium-sized species of seal which is native to the Arctic Ocean.

They are found in a wide range spanning from Bristol Bay on the Alaskan coast to the Sea of Okhotsk on the Russian Coast. They can also be found in Canada, Norway, and Japan.

These earless seals are grayish brown and darker on the back. Females of this species are larger than males. On average, bearded seals measure about 2.1 to 2.7 meters in body length and their body mass spans between 200 to 430 kilograms.

Bearded seals are a major food source for polar bears. These seals feed primarily on small marine species including clams, squids, and fish.