The ribbon seal, which Boveng identified as an adult male, "looked to be in really good shape," he said. "We don't have any way to rule out other possibilities, but I'd say it's almost certain that it swam there."
A Seattle resident recently got a big surprise when she discovered a strange-looking furry visitor on her property. "She woke up and it was lying on her dock, hanging out and sleeping — just chilling," said Matthew Cleland, district supervisor in western Washington for the USDA's Wildlife Services, and the recipient of a photo of the bizarre intruder. "I thought, 'That's an interesting-looking creature,'" Cleland told OurAmazingPlanet. "I had no idea what it was." A quick glance through a book in his office soon revealed it was a ribbon seal, an Arctic species that spends most of its life at sea, swimming the frigid waters off Alaska and Russia.
SIZE: Average adult 5 ft (1.5 m), 150 lbs. At birth 3 ft (1 m), 25 lbs.
BODY: Medium size seal with long neck, large dark eyes. Fur has distinctive color pattern.
COLOR: All >1 yr old have light bands on dark background encircling the neck, each front flipper, and torso. Background darker on males than females. Pups born with lanugo (soft wooly hair), molt after 4 weeks to first-year coat of blue-gray back with light sides.
BEHAVIOR: Not wary when hauled out on ice. Run across ice (using alternating front legs, swinging hindquarters) rather than using caterpillar movement like most seals. Seldom seen in water. Surface with very little of head showing.
HABITAT: Ice-associated, rarely haul out on land. Southern edge of sea ice winter and spring. Probably pelagic summer and fall. seagrant.uaf.edu...
Originally posted by wlord
that thing just screams to its predators, "eat me"
Originally posted by DanielET
Only the second on record to make it that far south. Interesting story!