East Antarctica: Crabeater & Waddel Seals
And now – to the Antarctic wildlife! Crabeater and Waddel seals are two most common species in the Antarctic waters, although seeing them is not that common or simple. Crabeater seals actually don’t eat any crabs, so the name is a total misnomer – some drunk 19th century sailor is probably to blame for that. These seals live around pack ice all around the Antarctic continent and eat exclusively Antarctic krill – which is red – so their snouts look like they’ve been feasting on all-you-can-eat crab at Olive Garden . While it’s thought that this is the most abundant seal in Antarctica – with around 30 million – they are not easy to see and they are usually solitary, live in the densest pack ice, and spend a lot of time under water. Very little is known about their eating and breeding habits, since the dense pack ice in inaccessible (copulation has never been observed in crabeaters) They are considered delicacy for killer whales and leopard seals, the apex predators of the Antarctic waters. Waddel seals also inhabit pack ice and are just slightly smaller then Crabeaters and turn to be in deeper ice or around ice cracks, they are less even in floating ice. There are about a 1,000,000 of them in Antarctica.