Leopard Seals - The Oceans Solo Predator

International Day of the Seal comes around every year on March 22nd. So why not take sometime to learn about one of the most vicious species of seal.

Leopard Seals/ Sea Leopards

Leopard seals are formidable hunters and fierce predators, they can grow to around 10 ft in length and weigh up to 840 lb. Their name not only comes from its black spotted coat but also their skills as hunters. They are members of the earless seal family and can be found in the Antarctic and southern hemisphere shorelines.

Leopard Seal 1

Top Facts About Sea Leopards

  1. Leopard seals have been known to attack the black inflatable parts of boats causing boat owners to reinforce their boats before going out or risk expensive damage. In 2003 a biologist was dragged underwater to her death by a sea leopard. However one of our favourite National Geographic Photographers had a very different experience with a female leopard seal who brought him live penguins in an attempt to teach him how to hunt!

  2. Currently the only known predator of leopard seals is the orca! If the leopard seal can survive the orca attacks then it can live to around 26 years old.

  3. A leopard seals diet consists of other seals, penguins, squid and fish. They are the only species of seal to hunt other warm blooded marine mammals. They can also be quite fussy about what they eat, often leaving the skeletons, heads and feet of penguins behind.

  4. Like other Antarctic species of seals, when the leopard seal isn't hunting for food they can be seen resting on ice floes.

  5. Preferring the solitary life, sea leopards hunt alone and enjoy their own company. At most they have been seen with one or two other seals and little is known about their mating methods and breeding cycle because of their anti-social & elusive nature.

  6. We do know that during the breeding season leopard seals become very vocal in an effort to find a mate. They use a combination of both local and long distance calls, although even with the use of underwater microphones scientists have struggled to determine exactly how they are making these noises.

  7. Sea leopards use a process called delayed implantation which essentially is where they delay the implantation of a fertilised egg after the breeding season to ensure that the pups are born in springtime or early summer. 

  8. The pups are born on ice floes and the mothers will have dug out a small hole during her pregnancy for the pup to hide in. After two or three weeks of the mother feeding the pup with her rich milk it will moult its first coat and take to the ocean where they will learn to hunt before being left to fend for themselves. 

  9. The leopard seals infamous smile! Their mouths are curled upwards in a permanent smile or a devious grin, but don't forget, as sweet as this smile may be these are still ferocious predators. 

Leopard Seal 2

Seal Supporter Necklace

We believe that seals are the incredibly lovable dogs of the sea and want to do more to celebrate them, so if you are a lover of seals then you should check out our Seal Supporter Necklace!

We donate at least 10% of gross profits to awesome marine conservation charities such as the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, so your purchase will make a difference.

Seal Supporter Necklace

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