The adult coat of a ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata) is most easily described as a dark background with four light colored stripes running in a circle around the animal. One stripe encircles the neck, another encircles the mid-posterior portion of the seal's body, and the other two stripes start ventrally and encircle the fore flippers on either side. Although this is the general pattern for all ribbon seals, there can be great individual variability as to the shade and precise location of the stripes. Newborn and juvenile ribbon seals do not have this striped pattern; as newborns are completely white, while juvenile seals are dark anteriorally and dorsally, and grayish posteriorly and ventrally. Males tend to be darker than females.