The Antarctic Big Five: Leopard Seals

The African Big Five features only mammals, so far my Antarctic Big Five only features birds. Time for a change: the Leopard Seal. There are several species of seal that can be seen on Antarctica, but the Leopard Seal is the one that appeals most to people. As an apex predator who feeds on cute penguins, it has quite an aggressive image. This image is probably partly due to the way they kill and eat their penguin prey. As they can’t hold their prey with their flippers, they try to rip the penguin apart by keeping it in its mouth and tossing it around above the water.

Leopard Seal


However, around 50% of the diet of a Leopard Seal consists of Krill. So maybe they are not the big ugly predator many people think of it.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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