Bearded seals on average measure 2.3 m in length and 200 to 250 kg in weight, with females larger than males. Between late fall and early spring, however, they can weigh up to 430 kg. At birth, pups average about 130 cm in length and 34 kg in weight. Adult bearded seals possess straight, evenly-colored light gray to dark brown hair, and their back is darker then the rest of their body. Their flippers and face are generally brick to deep rust in color. In contrast, bearded seal pups are born with lighter colored faces with assorted ribbon-like bands across their back and crown. Pups have soft, fluffy fur that tends to be a silvery blue, light brown or gray.
Bearded seals can be distinguished from other northern seals by their distinctive mustaches as well as their squared flippers. Their front and hind flippers have pronounced, pointed claws. Their head appears proportionally small compared to their long body.
Range mass: 200 to 430 kg.
Average length: 2.3 m.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger