Ringed Seal - Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Ringed Seal

This week on Creature Feature Friday we take a look at the Ringed Seal.

The ringed seal is a small earless seal with a distinctive patterning of dark spots surrounded by grey rings, hence it’s name. It is the most abundant and wide-ranging ice seal in the Northern Hemisphere, and an important component in the food chain.

Though the species has a ‘Least Concern’ conservation status, global warming poses a huge threat to it’s long-term survival. 

Ringed Seal - Creature Feature


Scientific Name: Pusa hispada 

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Carnivora

Family: Phocidea

Genus: Pusa

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Ringed Seal Fact File

? Size: Individuals rarely measure longer than 1.5m and weigh up to 140kg

? Distribution: Ringed seals occur throughout the Arctic Ocean. They can be found in the Baltic Sea, the Bering Sea and the Hudson Bay. They prefer to rest on ice floe and will move farther north for denser ice. However, two sub-species can be found in freshwater

? Diet: Their diet is comprised mainly off Arctic cod and planktonic crustaceans

? Behaviour: Ringed seals live about 25 to 30 years and are solitary animals. They are an important link in the food chain,, separating primary producers from primary predators and acting as an important food source for polar bears

? IUCN Status: Least Concern. The biggest threat to ringed seals is the changing temperature in the Arctic. Declines in snowpack and sea ice due to warming ocean and atmospheric temperatures will make survival harder for this species in the long-term