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Bearded seal

Bearded seal


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Bearded seal

Bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) male lying on an ice floe. This solitary seal prefers shallow waters covered in pack ice. It travels seasonally, often carried on floating ice floes. It gets its name from its unusually long, thick whiskers. It only breeds every other year, giving birth on the ice. The single pup stays with the mother for a long time. The bearded seal dives to the seabed to feed, living mainly on crustaceans (such as crabs and shrimp) and molluscs (such as clams and snails) with some fish. It is preyed on by killer whales and polar bears. Photographed in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6463089

© DOUG ALLAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Arctic Basking Bull Carnivore Carnivorous Fish Eater Fish Eating Ice Floe Lying Mammal North Pole Norway Norwegian Oceanic Pack Ice Pescivore Pescivorous Pinniped Resting Svalbard Bearded Seal Erignathus Barbatus


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures the essence of a majestic Bearded seal, peacefully lounging on an ice floe in the vastness of the Arctic. With its thick and lengthy whiskers, this solitary male seal is perfectly adapted to thrive in shallow waters covered with pack ice. The image showcases the incredible journey these seals undertake seasonally, often relying on floating ice floes as their means of transportation. Known for its unique breeding habits, this bearded seal only reproduces every other year, giving birth to a single pup on the frozen expanse of ice. The bond between mother and offspring is strong and enduring, as they spend ample time together before venturing into the frigid depths below. Feeding primarily on crustaceans like crabs and shrimp, along with molluscs such as clams and snails, this carnivorous creature also includes fish in its diet. However, it must remain vigilant against predators like killer whales and polar bears that roam these icy waters. Photographed amidst Norway's Svalbard archipelago by Science Photo Library, this image beautifully encapsulates both the tranquility and harsh reality of life in the Arctic. It serves as a reminder of nature's remarkable adaptations while highlighting our responsibility to protect these fragile ecosystems for future generations to appreciate.

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