[11] Their hearing in air is similar to that of a human, but scientists have noted that leopard seals use their ears in conjunction with their whiskers to track prey under water. Leopard seal, also called Sea Leopard, (Hydrurga leptonyx), generally solitary, earless seal (family Phocidae) that inhabits Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. Scientists attach this device usually to the head of the animal and it records depth, bottom time, total dive time, date and time, surface time, haul out time, pitch and roll, and total number of dives. Encyclopedia of Life. [7] 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. }. [11] Most leopard seal breeding is on pack ice. hbspt.cta.load(1822104, '89324de2-da58-424f-b478-22330f1520bb', {}); Not known for being particularly sociable animals, During the austral summer, leopard seals are known to, . [11] While solitary animals may appear in areas of lower latitudes, females rarely breed there. Although they are certainly formidable, leopard seals only have two known predators: killer whales and sharks. With only two predators themselves, leopard seals are close to the top of the food chain and are known as ferocious hunters. The male leopard seal does not participate in taking care of the pup, and goes back to its solitary lifestyle after the breeding season. Professor Boyd said that Leopard Seal attacks on humans were extremely rare but warned that they may potentially become more common due to increased human presence in Antarctica. Updates? Leopard seals are known to play "cat and mouse" with prey, typically with young seals or penguins. Because of their limited subpolar distribution in the Antarctic, they may be at risk as polar ice caps diminish with global warming. The prey of the leopard seal would become abundant and there might not be enough of food for it.

[38] These measurements are then used to calculate their energetics which is the amount of energy and food it takes for them to survive as a species. hbspt.cta.load( '1822104', '90dc4a38-6ec4-485e-bf95-aa71dcdb2e55', {}); This includes most species of penguins as well as other seal species and krill. eventLabel: 'http://blogpatagonia.australis.com/the-leopard-seal-facts/' Co-operative hunting of leopard seals on Antarctic fur seal pups has been witnessed, which could be a mother helping her older pup, or could also be female-male couple interactions, to increase their hunting productivity. [29], Vocalization is thought to be important in breeding, since males are much more vocal around this time. }); Such generalization and adaptations may be responsible for the seal's success in the challenging Antarctic ecosystem.
The trait of vocalizing underwater for long periods means they can be the subject of acoustic surveys, allowing researchers to gather most of what is known about them.[20]. French zoologist Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville described the leopard seal in 1820. They are dark gray in color and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds.

This information can be obtained by scientists by attaching transmitters to the seals after they are tranquilized on the ice. [11] Their hearing in air is similar to that of a human, but scientists have noted that leopard seals use their ears in conjunction with their whiskers to track prey under water.
Leopard seals are also known to take fur seal pups. Retrieved 2018-05-15. [22] The leopard seals have age-related differences in their calling patterns, just like birds. Weight: 200–600 kg. In fact, it's fast enough for the seal to launch itself out of the water, landing on the icy surface. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Leopard seals are one of two species of pinniped that hunt warm-blooded animals (such as penguins), and the only pinniped to hunt smaller species of seals. [11] Most leopard seal breeding is on pack ice. Although few serious interactions between leopard seals and humans have been recorded, in 2003 a biologist with the British Antarctic Survey was tragically dragged 200 ft. (61m) underwater to her death by a leopard seal.


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