Check out the most interesting leopard seal facts for kids. Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is a member of the true or crawling seals and the only species from its genus. After southern elephant seal, it is the second largest seal in Antarctica. With very long canine teeth and flexible neck, leopard seal is by far one of the top predators of this area. It is a solitary and noisy underwater animal. It is among one of the four seal species of lobodontine seals. The other three being crabeater, weddell and ross seals. Let’s get down to many more amazing leopard seal facts.
Leopard Seal Facts for Kids
The color of its coat is silver to dark grey from the back and has pale silver underside. Its long neck has dark spots with silver background and hence gets its name from it. After the killer whale, it is the second most top predator in Antarctica.
It can grow from a length range of 7.9 to 11.5 feet and a weight range of 440 to 1,320 pounds. However, on average, it weighs around 840 pounds. In size, it is nearly equal to northern walrus. Its teeth are 2.5 centimeters long.
In the wild, it has an average lifespan of 12 to 26 years.
The seals reach maturity at the age of 4 to 5 years. A female bears one pup in a season and weans it after 30 days. Mating season occurs in austral summer.
Leopard seals inhabit ice-cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean. They spend most of the time on pack ice.
An adult leopard seal feeds mainly on penguins and other seal species. Its diet includes penguins like chinstrap, Gentoo, king, emperor, rockhopper and adelie penguins. Among seals, it eats southern elephant, weddell, ross, crabeater and Antarctic fur seal. The juvenile individuals feed on fish, squid and krill.
Males tend to produce loud and different kinds of calls. Even though leopard seals are powerful predators, but they don’t always prey upon penguins. They tend to have a probing nature and at times, play with them instead.
Leopard seals are aggressive animals and though they do not often attack humans, but they are highly dangerous.
Other Name: Sea leopard