IUCN threat status:

Data Deficient (DD)

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Description

"Ribbon seals are rarely seen on land. In late winter and spring they are on pack ice, 100-200 km offshore, where they molt, mate, and pup. They are probably far out in northern seas the rest of the year, feeding on fish such as pollock, cod, eelpout, and capelin, supplemented with squid, octopus, and shrimp. Ribbon seals have a large inflatable air sac that is connected to the windpipe and extends on the right side over the ribs. Larger in males, it may be to produce underwater vocalizations, perhaps for mating communication. Biologists believe these and many other seals have extensive social interactions underwater. Their ""ribbons"" are white or yellowish bands on the neck, flippers, and body that contrast with their otherwise dark fur."

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Mammal Species of the World

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

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