We hope that each of you, our readers, will enjoy and appreciate this article we present about these 4 Stunning Bering Sea Species. It was our pleasure to gather the information for you. May it provide you with both education and increased awareness.
Certainly, these few species listed herein represent only a portion of the similar marvels in this region. It’s our belief, though, that they serve as excellent representations of the wonders that exist. Check out some of our other articles for similar marvels.
Ribbon Seal Facts
- Starting off this compilation of 4 Stunning Bering Sea Species we give you the remarkable Pinniped named the Ribbon Seal.
- The short yet descriptive term we’ve used serves as the most frequently used common name for this remarkable pinniped. For the moment, this intriguing product of Nature and evolution has no other widely accepted general name it’s known by.
- Among scientific professionals, however, it’s better known by its technical name. Unfortunately for the layperson, that’s an extremely difficult to pronounce title. That’s because this marvel of creation bears the formal moniker of Histriophoca fasciata.
- It received that name due to the efforts of the gereman zoologist, Eberhardt August Wilhelm von Zimmermann. He accomplished the first official recognition of it as a separate and distinct species. He managed that scientifically noteworthy deed in 1783.
- Regardless of which of these terms one chooses to use, it remains an impressive species. It further stands out due to the fact that it’s the only known member of its genus. Though certainly not unknown, that’s relatively uncommon, distinguishing it.
- Fortunately, the beautiful Ribbon Seal seems to be maintaining a population base that’s both sizeable and relatively stable. That situation also appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its range. The IUCN, therefore, presently lists it as Least Concern.
- Nonetheless, the animal faces several potential threats to its continued existence, at least. Most of these stem either directly or indirectly from the actions of humans. These include such perils as habitat loss, and of course, the looming threat of climate change.
Ribbon Seal Physical Description
The visually distinctive Ribbon Seal rightfully garners much attention from those who encounter it. The animal does so, however, due to a combination of factors. Its unique appearance ranks as one, to be sure, but it also merits appreciation due to sheer size.
In addition to these aspects of its nature, it also keeps with a pattern common to its relatives. That’s in the fact that it displays the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. However, among this specific Pinniped, that trait appears to a minor degree.
More specifically, males generally attain a slightly greater body size than their female counterparts. The difference remains small enough that it’s rarely detectable visually by untrained observers. Overall, however, members of both sexes reach respectable sizes.
As a general principle, though, mature adults reach a body length measuring approximately 5.2 ft (1.6 m). Those same fully grown specimens typically attain a body weight of around 209 lb (95 kg). Though exceptional individuals occur, these rarely grow much larger.
In global appearance, however, the genders of the Ribbon Seal remain virtually indistinguishable. It’s this aspect of the creature that stands out the most for most observers. Mature specimens have a black backgroun, with four white markings on parts of the body.
The general body shape strongly resembles other seals, though. This develops as elongated in form. The head has a short snout, with deep, broad, internal nostrils. The large eyes are set deep into the skull. It also has a large external inflatable air sac, used for vocalization.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Phocidae
- Genus: Histriophoca
- Species: H. fasciata
Ribbon Seal Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The impressive Ribbon Seal evolved as native to a comparatively broad swathe of the globe. The nature and location of that precise range, however, likely comes as no surprise to anyone. That’s because it’s endemic to portions of Earth’s Arctic and sub-Arctic zone.
There, the intriguing mammal lives in various sections of the North Pacific Ocean. The great majority of its population, however, prefer to make their home in one of two areas of that greater region. These habitat zones consist of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea.
For the moment, it’s unknown if the fascinating animal ever appeared anywhere outside of its present range. In all the regions it does appear in, though, the mammal displays clear choices for its habitat type. Individuals spend the vast majority of their time in the water.
Researchers still know little about where it spends most of its time while at sea. Most remain far from land, and thus away from easy observation by scientists. A few individuals have been seen far outside this area, though. One appeared off the shores of California!
Like others of its kind, the Ribbon Seal evolved as a carnivore. Given its habitat, its diet consists almost entirely of small sea ceatures. This principally includes such prey as numerous small fish, like the Arctic cod, smaller squid and octopi, and crustaceans, as well.
While at sea, their main predators include Orcas and Great White Sharks. While on land, however, very few creatures seem to disturb them. Mating takes place in both the winter and spring seasons. This mainly occurs on the ice in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk.
- Next up in this article about these 4 Stunning Bering Sea Species comes the impressive and powerful fish best known as the Orca.
- The term it’s known by names an unforgettable species of toothed whale that many refer to the species as killer whales. This breathtakingly beautiful, but deadly, marvel of Nature also forms the largest extant species of the oceanic dolphin family.
- The powerful creature thus remains regarded as an apex predator in every ocean, much like the Great White Shark. Due to various reasons related to its movements, the IUCN currently lists its conservation status as Data Insufficient.
- That highly uncertain status appears on the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species. This also occurs because many scientists believe that the behavior of various local populations may indicate the existence of two or more subspecies of Orca.
- Nonetheless, many individuals currently believe this magnificent creature to be facing various threats to its continued existence. Lamentably, one of these perils continues to be that of becoming an accidental bycatch in commercial fishing.
- Another threat, however, continues to be the danger of encounters with boats. That holds true of both fishing and recreational forms. Its greatest threat, however, most likely comes from the tragic ongoing effects of climate change.
Orca Physical Description
Perhaps most notably, the adult Orca possesses a very distinctive color pattern. and is therefore rarely confused with any other creature, even at a distance. Typically, the animal presents black on the back with sides and chest a bright white in color.
This animal also displays a white patch present behind and above the eye. Its body shape is heavy and robust. A small degree of sexual dimorphism exists as well. The male Orca averages between 20-26 ft (6-8 m) in length, and about 12,000 lb (5,443 kg) in weight.
Females, however, develop somewhat smaller than that in overall size. In point of fact, these reach maturity with an average length of 16-23 ft (5-7 m), and an average weight of 8,000 lb (3,629 kg). The dorsal fin of the male is also twice the size of that of the female.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Delphinidae
- Genus: Orcinus
- Species: O. orca
Orca Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Further augmenting its status, the breathtaking Orca has an extraordinarily broad range of habitation. That’s due to the fact that it inhabits every ocean on earth, from tropical seas to the Arctic and Antarctic areas, and has no known natural predators.
Due to its great range and global distribution, an exact estimate of its numbers is impossible. However, the general estimate is that there are at least 50,000 surviving Orca individuals at this time. But that number could change with new informtion.
Though the species remains present globally, the greatest concentrations exist in higher latitudes and coastal regions. The largest population concentration also lives in the region of the Antarctic. This fact often surprises those new to knowledge of it.
Sometimes referred to as the wolves of the sea, the Orca typically hunts in packs. Its favorite prey varies rather greatly, with specialization occurring between local populations. Overall, its food primarily consists of fish, birds, and various marine mammals.
That includes species such as baleen whales, other toothed whales, seals, sea lions, walruses, and at times sea otters. In addition, in the wild, the majority of Orca specimens observed appear to live as long as 90 years. In captivity, sadly, individuals die much younger.
Fin Whale Facts
- Our next choice for inclusion on thi gathering of 4 Stunning Bering Sea Species holds the general name of the Fin Whale.
- This magnificent work of Nature and evolution most frequently goes by the common name we’ve used for it. It also goes by the alternate name of the common rorqual and the finback whale. Previously it was also known by two other unique terms.
- Those formerly used names consisted of the razorback whale and the herring whale. Scientists, however, know it by yet another term. It’s a much more difficult to pronounce term, however. That’s its technical name of Balaenoptera physalus.
- The first formal acknowledgement of the astounding creature as a separate and distinct species occurred in 1758. That official recognition additionally took place at the hands of the highly esteemed Swedish botanist and zoologist, Carl Linnaeus.
- Regrettably, like many of its brethren, humans once hunted this mammoth of the seas mercilessly. Due to the actions of humans, its population plummeted. Thankfully, though, the International Whaling Commission issued a moratorium on hunting of it.
- Following this action, its numbers slowly rebounded, though its numbers still lag far behind the original. Current estimates now place its global population at between 100,000 and 119,000. The IUCN, therefore, now lists the cetacean as Vulnerable.
- The beautiful Fin Whale still faces many threats to its existence, despite the ban. That’s because of several factors. One of those consists of the fact that Japan and Iceland have resumed hunting. It further faces the ongoing threat posed by climate change.
Fin Whale Physical Description
The breathtaking Fin Whale quite easily impresses the viewer for several undeniable reasons. The first of these, however, has to be its sheer physical size. That’s due to the fact that the whale represents the second-largest of all creatures known to currently exist.
Physical dimensions actually vary between populations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Overall, however, the difference remains relatively minor. Individuals further display a moderate degree of the physiological trait of sexual dimorphism.
In its specific case, this trait manifests in terms of physical size. More precisely, females attain an average body length slightly greater than that of the males. The former average around 66 ft (20 m), while the males only attain lengths averaging about 61 ft (18.5 m).
The body weights of the genders, understandably, also differ. In the Northern Hemisphere, the longer females typically weigh 111,000 lbs (50,349 kg), but the males only average 85,000 lb (38,555 kg). In the Southern Hemisphere, both measurements are slightly greater.
Otherwise, though, the two sexes remain virtually identical in terms of general physical appearance. This visual pattern remains a complex mix, though. The underside appears an off-white in color. The upperside, meanwhile, appears grayish to brownish.
The head of the Fin Whale, though, presents a unique pattern of its own. On the left side, this appears a dark gray. The right side, though, shows a surprisingly complex pattern. This consists of various patches of contrasting light and dark gray and brown shades.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Balaenopteridae
- Genus: Balaenoptera
- Species: B. physalis
Fin Whale Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
One factor working in the favor of the awesome Fin Whale continues to be its habitat range. That’s because this species, like most rorquals, has a cosmopolitan distribution. In point of fact, populations appear in virtually all of the major oceans of the globe.
These include regions extending from both the North and South Poles, to all of the tropical regions. The exceptions to this range remain few, in fact. These include the zones near the ice packs at both poles. Others, though, include areas such as the Red Sea.
This wonder of Nature also displays a high degree of versatility in its habitat preferences. That’s clearly demonstrated, however, by its appearance in such wide-ranging climates. It does appear to be more common intemperate and cool waters, though.
Like many of its related species, this cetacean evolved as a filter feeder. It therefore feeds primarily on vast quantities of krill. Its diet does, however, include a smaller percentage of other prey. These include other small crustaceans, fish, and sometimes squid.
It in turn has only one known natural predator, other than mankind, of course. That’s the equally magnificent Orca. To the best knowledge of researchers, however, such attacks occur on a rare basis. When they do, it typically involves several so-called killer whales.
For the amazing Fin Whale, mating usually occurs in the Winter. The females typically give birth every 2-3 years, and to a single calf, though multiples do occur. These sometimes number as many as calves. Finally, mobile groups generally average 6-10 specimens.
Spiny Dogfish Facts
- Closing out this listing of these 4 Stunning Bering Sea Species we give you the impressive fish known as the Spiny Dogfish.
- The quite evocative term applied to it perfectly serves as one of the common names for one of the best known members of the Squalidae Family of sharks. The animal also remains known by several other alternate names, though.
- These include such equally distinctive names as the mud shark, the spurdog, and the piked dogfish, just to name a few of them. Among professional researchers, though, the amazing creature bears the scientific name of the Squalus acanthias.
- The first known official recognition of this impressive animal as a separate and distinct species occurred in the year 1758. That scientifically important event took place as a result of the efforts of the Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus.
- Unfortunately, its situation appears to be somewhat unstable. Due to its population status, as well as other factors, the IUCN currently lists it as Vulnerable. This lamentable status appears on the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species.
- The multiple and varied dangers facing the Spiny Dogfish continue to escalate, regrettably. Among these, over fishing continues to be the greatest threat to its continued existence, since the shark constitutes a commercially fished species.
- Other, newer factors also now pose serious, potentially terminal threats to the creature, though. Habitat loss, due to the actions of man threaten to greatly reduce its range. The ongoing effects of climate change also now pose a great danger for it.
Spiny Dogfish Physical Description
It bears noting that, while remarkably impressive in many ways, sheer size isn’t the strong suit of the amazing Spiny Dogfish. To the great surprise of many people, this marvel of Nature actually remains a very small example of its Order, the Squaliformes.
The species does, however, display a respectable degree of the physiological characteristic known as sexual dimorphism. In the case of this particular representative of its kind, this trait manifests itself in terms of size, with females being slightly greater in length.
Although exceptional individuals do exist, of course, adult males attain an average body length only equaling about 39 in (1 m). Mature females of this fascinating variety of shark, on the other hand, reach an average length of roughly 62.6 in (1.59 m).
Otherwise, both genders strongly resemble each other, presenting the same basic color pattern. Members of both sex display an overall grayish-brown shade, with the upper half of the body being a darker shade, while the underside remains much lighter in color.
It’s the presence of one particular feature, though, that gives the Spiny Dogfish its unique common name. That’s the existence of two very sharp spines that appear on the dorsal area, which the resourceful animal uses as a means of self-defense when threatened.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Squaliformes
- Family: Squalidae
- Genus: Squalus
- Species: S. acanthias
Spiny Dogfish Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
To the great surprise of some people, the remarkable Spiny Dogfish inhabits a comparatively wide range of the oceans of the world. Populations of this fascinating fish inhabit many regions. This includes the Pacific, the Atlantic, and also portions of the Indian Ocean.
In whatever part of the world populations of the animal appear, however, all individuals maintain the same basic pattern of behavior regarding choice of habitat. More precisely, this animal evolved to live primarily as a bottom-dwelling species.
With that being said, specimens of this intriguing type of shark have been observed at depths of as much as 2,300 ft (700 m). The great majority of observed groupings or individuals nevertheless make their home at depths of between 160 – 490 ft (50 – 149 m).
Like all other known sharks, the Spiny Dogfish feeds entirely as an aggressive carnivore. Despite its comparatively small size, this animal is no exception to this. It actively hunts a wide variety of prey, including fish, squid, shrimp, crabs, and even jellyfish.
Though some specimens travel singly, the vast majority of members of this species appear in large packs, that can number in the thousands. After mating, live birth occurs an average of an astonishing 22 – 24 months later. A typical lifespan averages 35 – 54 years.
4 Stunning Bering Sea Species
We hope that each of you enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article we’ve written about these 4 Stunning Bering Sea Species. It’s also our hope that doing so has left you with either a new or renewed appreciation for such wonders of Nature.
Unfortunately, however, many of their kindred around the world now find themselves facing strong threats to their continued existence as a species. Many of those dangers, in fact, stem from the actions of mankind. We must do all we can to protect and preserve them all.