Bearded seal

Bearded seal

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Credit: DOUG ALLAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 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.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, arctic, basking, bearded seal, bull, carnivore, carnivorous, erignathus barbatus, fish-eater, fish-eating, ice floe, lying, male, mammal, marine, nature, north pole, norway, norwegian, oceanic, pack ice, pescivore, pescivorous, pinniped, resting, svalbard, wildlife, zoology

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