The small village of Mekoryuk sits on the north side of Nunivak Island in the Bering Sea. The remote community often experiences harsh weather that prevents planes from coming or going. But this holiday season, the village got a special early visit from a certain famous North Pole resident.
Ringed seals are the only seals that thrive under completely ice-covered Arctic waters. They use stout claws to dig and maintain breathing holes.
Females give birth in snow lairs to pups that are susceptible to freezing until they grow a blubber layer.
Bearded seals give birth and rear pups on drifting pack ice.
Sea ice this year melted back to record low levels.
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