East Antarctica: Leopard Seals

Leopard seals are my favorite! They look much less like seals and more like some mysterious creatures from hell – half anaconda and have a giant flexible torpedo. This seal is unmistakable – they have a giant snake-like reptilian head on a narrow flexible neck and a massive mouth full of sharp yellow teeth (long canines and massive incisors) – thee always look as if they are smiling. They are big at 3-4 meters long and 400-500kg in weight. They are found all around the Antarctic pack ice but are not easily seen. Leopard seal are carnivores – they love devouring penguins, feast on fish, and pups of other seal species. They often park themselves next to the penguin colony and snap the penguins leaving for open water and returning back. Seeing and observing one is akin t spotting a leopard or a lion on an African safari – the animal is magnificent and spectacular.