Today I want to write about an animal that has big, cool teeth, the leopard seal.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These massive seals can grow to up to 3.8 metres long and weigh up to 500 kg. Unusually for seals, the females are larger.
- As their name suggests, leopard seals are very aggressive hunters, using their long, sharp teeth, powerful jaws and clever hunting techniques to catch penguins, smaller seals, squid and fish. They also eat a lot of krill when larger prey is scarce. They are the only seals to eat warm-blooded prey.
- Their long, stream-lined body and large flippers make them excellent swimmers, but they are very clumsy and slow on land.
- At breeding time, females dig a hole in the ice and give birth to a single pup that can measure 1 metre long at birth. The mother’s milk is rich in fat which helps them to put on weight very quickly. They are independent after a few weeks, taking to the water and eating krill until they are big and fast enough to catch larger prey.
- Leopard seals are reasonably common and are found throughout the Antarctic coast, travelling further north during the warmer months to visit the waters of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and South America.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about leopard seals?