The Ribbon Seal

(Coming soon to the Raymond Zoo)

Classification

Class: Mammalia

Phylum: Chordata
Order: Carnivora
Family: Phocidae
Genus: Phoca
Species: Fasciata
Their common name is the Ribbon Seal

Appearance

In males their coloration is much more distinct than that of a females. A male would be dark brown, almost black, with four white ribbon stripes wrapping around them. The females are a light brown with tan to almost grey stripes. These stripes are located around the neck, rear, and shoulders of the seal. This seal's pups are typically grey and do not acquire their stripes until the age of four. The average size of a ribbon seal is 175lbs and 5 feet long, this includes both males and females.

Feeding time

A ribbon seal is a carnivore, eating mostly shrimp and fish, with a few crustaceans here and there. As adults they will eat about 9kg of food each day.

Habitat

Ribbon seals occupy the northern Pacific Ocean around Alaska, all the way to Japan and Russia. When they're not in the water they inhabit the ice packs of western Alaska where they can make a place for their pups. If they had to choose, they prefer broken pieces of pack ice to live. The reason for this being that it is easier to make holes in the ice to hunt. By bringing then to the zoo they would need these previously mentioned surroundings to keep them stabilized and healthy in this new environment.

Senses of the Seal

Like other seals, the ribbon seal uses its whiskers to detect movement and vibrations while underwater. Another indication of their whiskers is their aggression. When a seals whiskers point forward this is their tell that they are on the defense.

Unique?

These seals have an air sac within their trachea. It is able to be inflated, but it's function is unknown. It has been speculated that it could serve the purpose of underwater vocalization.

Their movement is also unique compared to other seals, instead of using their front flippers to crawl along the ice they move in a metronome-like motion and glide along.

Threats to the Ribbon Seal

The sporadic change of climate is becoming a serious problem in the case of the seal. Others threats are potential oil spills and the harvest of seals by humans.

Resources


"International Wildlife Encyclopedia: Rifleman - Sea Slug." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"National Marine Mammal Laboratory." National Marine Mammal Laboratory. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Ribbon Seal - Oceans of Fun." Oceans of Fun. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Ribbon+seal - Google Search." Ribbon+seal - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search."Seals+sea+lions+and+walruses - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Support the." Histriophoca Fasciata (Ribbon Seal). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.