The bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus).is a medium-sized pinniped that is found in and near to the Arctic Ocean. Bearded seals are a primary food source for polar bears and a secondary source for the Inuit of the Arctic coast. The Inuit preferred the ringed seal for food and light; the meat would be eaten and the blubber burnt in a stone lamp. The skin of the bearded seal is tougher than regular seal and was used to make shoes, whips, dog sled harnesses, to cover a wooden frame boat, the Umiak and in constructing summer tents.Natural predators of the bearded seal include polar bears, who rely on these seals secondarily as a food source. Killer whales also prey on these seals, sometimes overturning ice floes to reach them. Walruses also eat these seals, mainly pups, but such predation is rare.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography