Facts about Leopard Seals 2: the male and female leopard seals. Exceptions include mother and pup pairs and temporary mating pairs. The bear's fur coat, and layer of fat would protect it from any serious injuries from a bite. Leopard seals, Hydrurga leptonyx (Blainville, 1820), are large and impressive members of the seal family reaching between 2.41-3.38 m in length and weighing between 200-591 kg. It hunts and eats fish, squids, shellfish, penguins and other species of seal. Leopard seals are by far the largest of the antarctic seals. Diet: Penguins, other species of seal, krill, squid, fish. Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are large but slender seals, with big heads and jaws that give them a frightening, dinosaur-like appearance. Leopard Seals are known to attack the black rubber pontoons of inflatable boats, forcing the boat owners to reinforce the rubber with protective plating, or vacate the premises to avoid damage. Leopard seals are highly dangerous predators. The main predators of seals are killer whales, polar bears, leopard seals, large sharks, and human beings. ... (twice the size of the gentoo penguin in the photograph) that were entering the sea from a rookery on the island. Seal behaviour to monitor ; If you approach a seal, various indicators of seal behaviour may alert you to the internal state of the seal. A pregnant female digs a hole-like den in the ice, a process which can take months, and then gives birth to a single pup. But, did you know this amazing animal has only one natural predator? In contrast to this, a story of National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen went viral when instead of attacking him, a Leopard Seal female repeatedly brought him live penguins in an effort to try to teach him how to hunt. The expedition explores one of the last unt, JNS23-21 The leopard seal is characterized by its long streamlined body and the massive, almost reptilian looking head. 1 Synopsis 2 Color Regions 3 Base Stats, Controls, and Abilities 4 Notes/Trivia This species of Leopard Seal is several times larger than any modern species. Their mouth is also huge relative to body size. National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen has taken up the mission of helping to dismantle their savage reputation. The baby seals weigh about 35 kilograms (77 pounds) and double in size within the first three months of life. These seals lack an external ear flap. Leopard seals do not normally dive deep into the water with the longest recorded dive being 15 minutes long. Biologists have been able to determine the last meal of a seal by analyzing the chemical composition of the whiskers. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Perhaps most surprisingly, we have no clear idea of how many leopard seals there are in the wild. Seals range in size from the 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and 45 kg (99 lb) Baikal seal to the 5 m (16 ft) and 3,200 kg (7,100 ... Leopard seals typically target crabeater pups, which form an important part of their diet from November to January. You might think the obvious identifying feature of the leopard seal is its black-spotted coat. Some of the vocalisations made by leopard seals includes grunts and growls. Leopard seals are earless seals. A singing seal hangs upside down, with a bent neck and pulsating inflated chests, rocking from side to side. Safe Search. While attacks of humans are rare, cases of aggression, stalking, and fatalities have been documented. Underwater vocalizations are part of their breeding behavior. Size and weight. Population size is difficult to determine, especially as the leopard seal inhabits such a large inhospitable area and is usually solitary, but an estimate of 220,000-440,000 has been made. Leopard seals preyed on penguins throughout the summer, but preyed on fur seal pups only between late December and mid-February. The Leopard Seal is the second largest of all seals out there. Males can grow up to 3 meters in length and weigh approximately 300 kg. Falkland Islands, Bouvet Island, Seals mate in summer and give birth after 11 months gestation to a single pup. ); Ways to report your sightings: 1. At birth, the pup weighs around 66 pounds. They have large canines designed to latch onto prey, but their back molars lock together in such a fashion that they can strain krill from water, somewhat in the same manner that baleen whales sieve krill. Weight: Males up to 300 kg / females 260 - 500 kg. Please report ALL leopard seal sightings (even if you think someone else already has! WATCH: Leopard seals relentlessly attack fur seal pups and epically battle one another for food in this never before seen footage. The de… It is muscular, with relatively short limbs and a broad head. … Length: 2.5-3.5 metres. The coat is counter-shadedwith a silver to dark gray blend and a distinctiv… Leopard seals are solitary outside of their mating period when large numbers gather on pack ice. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists it as a species of "least concern.". Some of the vocalisations made by leopard seals includes grunts and growls. Two male Leopard seals extend their penises and try to mate with one another, Dream Island (Core Number: NBSM544L) {{purchaseLicenseLabel}} {{restrictedAssetLabel}} {{buyOptionLabel(option)}} You have view only access under this Premium Access agreement. PHONE; please immediately call 0800 LEOPARD (0800 5367273) (valid in New Zealand only) 2. Leopard seal is a carnivore and vicious predator. The leopard seal’s disproportionately large head, massive jaws, impressive teeth and tremendous gape give it a snake-like appearance. ); Ways to report your sightings: 1. Leopard Seal Size: Leopard seals are the third largest species of the seal at 10 feet long. Over the years, surveys have brought us estimates ranging from 400,000 to (more recently) just 35,000. CANCEL APPLY. Most observations of leopard seals have been made at large Adélie penguin colonies – in fact, three have been conducted at Cape Crozier, one of our study colonies (Kooyman 1965, Penney & Lowry 1967, Müller-Schwarze & Müller-Schwarze 1975). The only predator of the leopard seal is the occasional killer whale and humans. While diving in Antarctica on a National Geographic - Lindblad expedition, biologist Lisa Kelly encountered a 13-foot leopard seal. They have specially grooved molars (back teeth) that can filter out seawater to capture krill. The front teeth are sharp like those of other carnivores, but their molars lock together in a way that allows them to sieve krill from the water in the manner of the crabeater seal. Leopard Seals can swim at speeds reaching 37 km per hour. From Contributor (separated by comma) within editors' choice. The female leopard seal digs herself a hole in the ice and the leopard seal pup is born after a gestation period of about 11 months, during the Antarctic summer time. Location: The Antarctic plus southern hemisphere shorelines. The leopard seal's habitat overlaps that of other seals. Leopard Seals have a special arrangement in their jaws. This, along with its large size, allows it to prey on smaller seal species such as the Antarctic fur seal and the crabeater seal. These "slender-clawed water workers" spend much of their lives submerged, though it's known they are the only member of their family to consume other seals, Region: The nostrils are positioned on top of the muzzle. In colour, the leopard seal shades from almost black to almost blue on the flanks. Check Also: 10 Facts about Lemon Sharks. The leopard seal is not endangered. The leopard seal has a distinctively long and muscular body shape when compared to other seals, but it is perhaps best known for its reptilian-like head and massive jaws which are enormous for its body size and which allow it to be one of the top predators in its environment. 'In the water, most associate sharks with danger,' he said. 3. A Leopard seal is the second-largest seal in the Antarctic. Leopard seals often wait underwater and propel themselves out of the water to snatch their victim. Harp Seal Facts (Pagophilus groenlandicus), The Family Otariidae: Characteristics of Eared Seals and Sea Lions, Fascinating Arctic Fox Facts (Vulpes lagopus), Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. Hunting behaviour differed significantly between different locations on the island; fur seals were hunted only at one colony, and penguins were hunted in several areas. It is an extremely aggressive predator, the bane of Kairuku out on the ice floes and a surprising threat to walruses. The leopard seal is earless, about 10 to 12 feet long (females slightly larger than males), weighs between 800 and 1000 pounds, and always seems to … They have long bodies (10 to 11.5 feet) and elongated heads. Incidents of these large, aggressive predators stalking and attacking people have been recorded throughout history, which was why … Ross Island showing locations of the three Adélie penguin colonies where leopard seal observations were made, 1996–2003. Singing coincides with the breeding season. Despite large size and fearsome nature of leopard seal, nearly 50% of its diet is based on the krill. Leopard seals are regular visitors to Australia and New Zealand, and wandering seals have also been found on the southern coasts of South America and South Africa. Most are fusiform in shape, but the leopard seal is almost tubular looking, being longer and more slender. Most observations of leopard seals have been made at large Adélie penguin colonies – in fact, three have been conducted at Cape Crozier, one of our study colonies (Kooyman 1965, Penney & Lowry 1967, Müller-Schwarze & Müller-Schwarze 1975). Leopard seals are the third largest seal in the world. Females measure 241-338 cm and weigh 225-591 kg. The leopard seal will eat just about any other animals. Phocid seals range from moderate to large size. So, how does the fight between killer whales and the biggest seal go? The leopard seal is earless, about 10 to 12 feet long (females slightly larger than males), weighs between 800 and 1000 pounds, and always seems to be smiling because the edges of its mouth curl upward. Males are rarely seen near the birthing grounds. For Amos, diving with any leopard seal is always daunting. of seal predation rates at colonies of different size. Its teeth are 2.5 centimeters long. Their mouth is also huge relative to body size. The Baikal seal (Phoca sibirica) of Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, is the smallest at 1.1–1.4 metres (3.6–4.6 feet) long and 50–130 kg (110–290 pounds), but some female fur seals weigh less. Let’s see. The leopard seal is native to Antarctica and a handful surrounding islands including the Falklands, Kerguelen, South Georgia and South Shetland. Their coloring varies dorsally to ventrally with a dark grey back, a silvery grey underside, and dark and light spots … The seals reach maturity at the age of 4 to 5 years. Filters; Reset All Filters. As for females they measure between 3.5 and 4 meters in length and their weight ranges between 500 and 600 kgms. Leopard seals live a long time for a seal, partly because they have few predators. All phocids are characterized by having relatively short hair that lies smooth along the body, thick skin and a thick subcutaneous layer of blubber that can be 5–6 in (11–13 cm) thick to insulate the animal and provide energy stores when not foraging. The mouth of the leopard seal turns upward at the edges, resembling a smile. The body of male and female leopard seals is in different size. Leopard Seals got their common name from their collection of black Leopard-like spots. The males are slightly smaller than the females. Name: Leopard Seal, Sea Leopard ( Hydrurga leptonyx) Length: 2.5-3.5 metres. If you get the opportunity to take an Antarctic cruise, you may be lucky enough to see a leopard seal in its natural habitat. However, as the name implies, it is far more leopard than seal in temperament. There is even one recorded instance of a leopard seal killing a marine biologist in 2003. Their head and snout are a little small, although they have a relativelylon… This is … They are very strong animals and they tend to take over the areas where they reside. Here we report on the successful use of micro geolocation logging sensor tags to track the movements, and activity, of four leopard seals for trips of between 142–446 days including one individual in two separate years. Facts about Leopard Seals 2: the male and female leopard seals. Environmental changes have dramatically affected species the seals eat, so this number is likely inaccurate. This species is well known as one of the top predators at the Antarctic ice edge. Appearance: Mottled, dark grey on back, lighter on belly. Leopard Seal facts - Basics. Contributor. The average size of an adult leopard seals can reach lengths up to 3 meters (9.8 feet). Weddell Sea, What sets the leopard seal apart is its elongated head and sinuous body, somewhat resembling a furry eel. The largest is the male elephant seal (genus Mirounga leonina) of coastal California (including Baja … The females are larger than the males, but the male individuals still quite large compared to other types of seals. In turn the males’ length ranges from 3 to 3.8 meters, while their weight is approximately 320 kgms. Leopard seals are true seals and get their name from the spots that cover their fur. helicopters, Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctica, Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage. The mother will nurse the pup for about a month. Seals are carnivores, eating mainly fish, though some also consume squid, other mollusks, and crustaceans. Leopard seals are known to play "cat and mouse" with prey, typically with young seals or penguins. Leopard seals can live up to 26 years in the wild.. Leopard Seals are picky eaters when it comes to penguins and will leave the skeleton, feet, and head behind. 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