Covered in a thin coat of fur, this species can be identified by the dark gray or black colors on the head and back and the white or light gray around the belly. They are perhaps the greatest wanderers of the Antarctic seals with sightings in Tasmania and a northern record at Heron Island. 4.) The "sea leopard", about 12 ft (3.7 m) long and 1,100 lb (500 kg), chased Orde-Lees on the ice. They can weigh over 1300 lbs. The females will carry a pup for eleven months and then deliver it in a hole they have dug in the ice. 1.) Our researchers are interested in the factors that drive the cyclic nature of the occurrence of leopard seals at Macquarie Island and Tasmania, and are studying seal movements within the pack-ice zone. A male leopard seal is about three meters long and 300 kilograms in weight – and the weight of a female leopard can reach half a ton. 7 Stupendous Leopard Seal Facts Leopard Seals got their common name from their collection of black Leopard-like spots. How large is a leopard seal? Some of the vocalisations made by leopard seals includes grunts and growls. Leopard seals are second only amongst seal species to elephant seals in terms of size. Leopard seals have a varied diet. Many of them have been hunted though for sport as well to get rid of them due to their behaviors. They are fast moving on land so they have no trouble catching their desired prey either on land or in the water. It was called a Leopard seal because it has spots that are almost similar to those of a leopard. For some reason leopard seals like the tail ends of … Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. A large leopard seal attacked Thomas Orde-Lees (1877–1958), a member of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 when the expedition was camping on the sea ice. They also eat cephalopods, fish and other seal species, especially newly-weaned crabeater seals during December and January. Leopard seals hunt krill, fish, squid, a number of penguin species, and smaller seal species. There are approximately 250,000 of them. Are leopard seals carnivores or herbivores? Due to the aggressive nature of the Leopard Seals, there is still plenty we don’t know about their reproduction. There aren’t very high numbers left of Leopard Seals which is why conservation efforts for them exist. On top of this, they may have even been cooperating with each other to eat these enormous seabirds. Leopard seals are apex predators presenting a potential risk to humans. Because leopard seals are solitary animals that live in the Antarctic pack ice, little is known of their biology. The leopard seal has very large fore-flippers, making it a fast and graceful swimmer, but clumsy on land. They are very strong animals and they tend to take over the areas where they reside. Orcas are the only known predator of leopard seals. Their loose jaw can open as far as 160 degrees. . Leopard seals are the third largest seal in the world Female leopard seals, the larger of the two sexes, can grow up to 590 kg (1,300 pounds) and 3.8m meters (10 feet) long. Females are usually slightly larger than males. Environmental Impact Assessment approvals, Australia and the Antarctic Treaty System, Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, What happens before departure & on arrival at station, Message for family and friends of expeditioners, Classification of scientific publications, Antarctic Strategy and Action Plan: Prime Minister’s Foreword. These seals swim so fast they can "jump" out of the sea onto the edge of the ice to get prey such as penguins. The remaining carcass is then consumed. They are dark gray in color and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Well, how about the leopard seal? The leopard seal has an extremely long, muscular body, with a hugeset of jaws. 5.) And like their namesake, these seals are fast and ferocious hunters—Antarctica’s apex predator along with killer whales. This tells you that it is a big animal. The Leopard Seal is an Excellent Swimmer. Leopard seals rank alongside killer whales as Antarctica's top predator. Some remain near penguin colonies to capture prey, while others prefer to eat crabeater seal pups. Leopard seals can grow to be as big as eleven feet long, and eight hundred forty pounds. Being seals, not sea lions, they do not have visible ear flaps. In winter their most important food is krill. Other leopard seals prefer a sub-Antarctic menu migrating north to Heard Island to feed on penguin and seal pups there. Leopard seals may live for 26 years or more. Populations of this type of animal at the moment nothing is threatened. The Leopard seal is the second biggest of the seal species. . Female leopard seals of 6 years or more give birth to a single pup on the sea-ice in November after a 9 month gestation, and then return to the ocean to feed. They are very strong animals and they tend to take over the areas where they reside. A big leopard seal was picking a gruesome fight to the death with the stern of one of the base's Zodiacs. The prey most commonly includes various species of penguins, squid, fish, and even other species of seals. Typically leopard seals chase or grab penguins in the water and thrash the captured bird back and forth until the skin peels away. The seal had the hapless craft in its massive jaws. The Leopard Seal also evolved as a predator. Most human perceptions of leopard seals are shaped by historic encounters between humans and leopard seals, that have occurred since the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration. Nile crocodiles prey on leopards occasionally. The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is easily identified by its long slim body and comparatively large fore-flippers. And like their namesake, these seals are fast and ferocious hunters—Antarctica’s apex predator along with killer whales. For some reason leopard seals like the tail ends of … You will find this type of seal living in the very cold regions of the Antarctic. Large females may reach lengths in excess of 3.5m and weigh over 500kg. They are very strong animals and they tend to take over the areas where they reside. Leopard seals can live up to 26 years in the wild. They prey on krill, fish, squid, Antarctic species of penguins, sea birds, crabeater, Weddell, young elephant seals, and fur seals. It is believed this is due to them feeling threatened rather than finding something that they are interested in eating. Humans that observe Leopard Seals, known not to get too close to them due to their aggressive nature. The zodiac vainly blew air in the seal's face as its teeth tore into the rear pontoon. There have been some reports of attacks from Leopard Seals on humans while they are in the water. The females are larger than the males, but the male individuals still quite large compared to other types of seals. But, it also feeds opportunistically. Mugger crocodiles reportedly killed an adult leopard in Rajasthan. read more Like the crabeater seals, leopard seals … The leopard seal’s disproportionately large head, massive jaws, impressive teeth and tremendous gape give it a snake-like appearance. the leopard seals jaws are about the size of 6 human jaws. Typical weights range from approximately 440 lbs. How big is the leopard seal jaw? The main predators of seals are killer whales, polar bears, leopard seals, large sharks, and human beings. However, attacks on humans are rare. They can grow to 10 feet in length and weigh as much as 1,300 pounds! Leopard seals have unique cheek teeth that are shaped to allow them to strain krill from the water. So it was a big surprise to discover wild leopard seals feeding alongside one another while eating king penguins at South Georgia, a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The head is large and the jaws open widely revealing exceptionally long canines and unusually complex sharply pointed molars. Adult leopard seals range from about 7.9-11.5 ft. (2.4-3.5 m) long. Leopard seals are solitary animals that inhabit pack-ice surrounding the Antarctic continent. Other animals don’t bother the offspring but at times the males can show aggression towards them. Covered in a thin coat of fur, this species can be identified by the dark gray or black colors on the head and back and the white or light gray around the belly. In the water they are able to swallow fish or to tear off large portions of big prey they find in there. Hydrurga leptonyx means “slender-clawed water-worker.” There’s still a lot to learn about Leopard Seals, like specifics of their mating habits. Therefore they do as they please both on land and in the water. (200 kg) to 1320 lbs. Let's find out and explore Leopard seal … Leopard seals average lifespan is about 26 years. The Leopard Seal is the second largest of all seals out there. Over this base color, leopard seals are dappled with gray or black spots. Now in the world of them there are about 400 thousand individuals. They have a color gradient that shifts from white on their underside, to dark gray on their backs. Heron Island is a subtropical island in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef — quite some distance from the Antarctic! The only natural predator of leopard seals is the killer whale. The leopard seal also referred to as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the southern elephant seal).. (600 kg). Leopard seals are similar in length to a Northern Walrus but are slightly less than half as massive in terms of weight. They … The females are larger than the males, but the male individuals still quite large compared to other types of seals. Sexual maturity occurs at the age of 3-4 years, which is quite early. They kill penguins and small seals by grabbing them with their feet. They can also be about 11 feet long. They are dark gray in color and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. The zodiac vainly blew air in the seal's face as its teeth tore into the rear pontoon. Female leopard seals of 6 years or more give birth to a single pup on the sea-ice in November after a 9 month gestation, and then return to the ocean to feed. An observation of a male elephant seal having killed a leopard seal at Heard Island has been reported, however, this is likely to be an uncommon occurrence. The Leopard Seal is the second largest of all seals out there. However, on average, it weighs around 840 pounds. Fierce and feline-looking, leopard seals are named for their distinctive black-spotted coat and strong, toothy jaws that resemble those of the big cat. One leopard seal, captured near Sydney, had eaten a fully grown platypus. Leopard seals have very individual tastes. They only live in small groups which is also quite different from other species of seals. It is best not to be in the open waters where Leopard Seals are known to live. The leopard seal can grow from a length range of 7.9 to 11.5 feet and a weight range of 440 to 1,320 pounds. . The leopard seal is easily identified: designed for speed, the body is slender and the fore-flippers long. Leopard seals (and all seals) are carnivores.carnivore. Leopard seals, believe it or not, have lots of spots. Young leopard seals eat krill, squid and fish. The seal had the hapless craft in its massive jaws. However, they are also the only species of seal that will also consume other species. This powerful creature hunts comparatively large prey, in relation to its body size. Leopard seals have unique cheek teeth that are shaped to allow them to strain krill from the water. The leopard seal is known for its voracious appetite, and it can be a quite intimidating character due to its immense size. We don’t know how the mates select each other. Big Animals – Leopard Seals, Antarctica. Their bodies are long and slender, and their heads appear to be almost too large for their serpent-like bodies. They also eat the pups of other seal species including crabeater, Weddell and southern fur seals. https://oceanwide-expeditions.com/to-do/wildlife/leopard-seal It is believed there are series of grunts and calls though those are a way to appeal to the females by the males though. They can also be about 11 feet long. Leopard seals are long, smooth, carnivorous mammals with a rounded head, big snout, large mouths, and flippers on all four feet (which enclose both their elbows and knees). Amos Nachoum has dipped below the waves with some of the ocean's top predators, but swimming with leopard seals remains one of his most cherished experiences. These seals can swim up to 25 mph! And they're not exactly big teddy bears either, Leopard seals are as aggressive in nature as they are big in size. They only natural predators that the Leopard Seals have are some species of sharks and the killer whales. The leopard seal is easily identified: designed for speed, the body is slender and the fore-flippers long. The females do take very good care of their young pups until they are able to care for themselves. When it is time to reproduce, the Leopard Seals will come together in larger groups. The leopard seal, also known as the 'sea leopard', is absolutely massive! The head is large and the jaws open widely revealing exceptionally long canines and unusually complex sharply pointed molars. and reach lengths of nearly 12 feet. . An adult leopard was recovered from the stomach of a 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in) Burmese python. The only predator of the leopard seal is the occasional killer whale and humans. Leopard seals eat almost anything, including penguins, fish, squid, and crustaceans. They can also be about 11 feet long. Fierce and feline-looking, leopard seals are named for their distinctive black-spotted coat and strong, toothy jaws that resemble those of the big cat. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. Big Animals – Leopard Seals, Antarctica The waters of Antarctica hover between 28–50°F and it’s going to take something pretty special to get most of us diving in that water. Larger leopard seals eat krill (estimated 45% of diet), other seals (30%), penguins (10%) and fish (10%). Leopard seals are very large, nearly as long as walruses (though not nearly as heavy). Leopard seals eat an amazingly large variety of food, using their wide gaping mouths and massive jaws to great effect. They may occupy some sub-Antarctic islands year-round including Heard Island. The leopard seal is named for its black-spotted coat.The pattern is similar to that of the famous big cat, though the seal’s coat is gray rather than golden in color. 3.) The diet of the Leopard seal is similar to others in many ways. A leopard seal eats a variety of things including humans... Nah just joking. Their life expectancy is anywhere between twelve and fifteen years. One large adult leopard was grabbed and consumed by a large crocodile while attempting to hunt along a bank in Kruger National Park. Some of them though prefer the warmer climates. It can take several months during the pregnancy for her to complete this digging process in preparation for the offspring. . Their loose jaw can open as far as 160 degrees. . They love krill, fish, and other items found in the waters. The Portal of Life on Earth, Biodiversity, Animal Facts, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. The pup may weigh in excess of 30kg. Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are large but slender seals, with big heads and jaws that give them a frightening, dinosaur-like appearance. The pup may weigh in excess of 30kg. They also love to eat penguins. The Leopard Seal is the second largest of all seals out there. In colour, the leopard seal shades from almost black to almost blue on the flanks. Leopard Seal – Hydrurga leptonyx Description. Named after their spotted coats and fearsome jaws, leopard seals have large, reptilian heads and streamlined bodies. Leopard seals are solitary outside of their mating period when large numbers gather on pack ice. Catching the prey, the leopard can reach speeds of up to 40 km / h. Because of the streamlined shape of the body, this seal resembles a torpedo, which facilitates movement at high speed. For instance, leopard seals make a living hunting down penguins and even other seals. They are dark gray in color and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Most of the time though they have disappeared to do their own thing after the mating has taken place. Don’t Feed the Photographers! Leopard seals eat almost anything, including penguins, fish, squid, and crustaceans. The muzzle, throat and belly are light grey scattered with dark grey and black spots. With his dinner, the leopard seal does not stand on ceremony. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to see them alone or only with one or two companions. The Leopard Seal is considered to be the most aggressive of all the species out there. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/l/leopard-seal The waters of Antarctica hover between 28–50°F and it’s going to take something pretty special to get most of us diving in that water. Fast Facts: Leopard Seal Scientific Name: Hydrurga leptonyx Common Names: Leopard seal, sea leopard Basic Animal Group: Mammal Size: 10-12 feet Weight: 800-1000 pounds Lifespan: 12-15 years Diet: Carnivore Habitat: Sea around Antarctica Population: 200,000 Conservation Status: … There has only been one recorded death to humans and that was 4 years ago. The de… Their coloration is typically a dark grey on top, with a lighter shade below, with a spotted pattern. Leopard seals have been identified in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where it is much warmer than the Antarctic. In the wild it is reasonable for one to live approximately 26 years. Leopard seals are long, smooth, carnivorous mammals with a rounded head, big snout, large mouths, and flippers on all four feet (which enclose both their elbows and knees). We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. Males (2.8m; 320kg) are generally slightly smaller than females (3.0m; 370kg). These seals swim so fast they can "jump" out of the sea onto the edge of the ice to get prey such as penguins. Leopard seals are not social animals. Then they will thrash them back and forth against the ground until they are dead. Seal diversity 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. In the winter months, young leopard seals from the south visit Macquarie Island. 2.) Diet and feeding. Well, how about the leopard seal? Like the crabeater seals, leopard seals have unusual teeth for straining krill from the water. A big leopard seal was picking a gruesome fight to the death with the stern of one of the base's Zodiacs.