Leopard seals

Leopard seals refers to the species of true seals inhabiting the subantarctic regions of the Southern Ocean. It is one of the most formidable and dangerous sea predators. Leopard he was called for the skin covered with stains, and also because of very predatory behavior – he is also fierce and dangerous for other marine animals. There is a leopard seal along the entire perimeter of the Antarctic ice, delivering a lot of concern to its more peaceful inhabitants along with the killer whale.

Only here there are unique fish-protein, whose blood does not contain hemoglobin, and is therefore colorless and never freezes – almost like an antifreeze. This “menu” lures to Antarctica a lot of different eaters – sea animals, birds and fish. The most respectable visitors are baleen whales: sei whales, humpbacks, fin whales and blue whales – the largest animals of the planet, whose weight sometimes exceeds 160 tons. We are satisfied with the generous catches – fish, shellfish, crustaceans all. But there is an animal in the family of pinnipeds, which has expanded the scope of the traditional diet of their fellow humans. He is a leopard seal.

This predatory spotted seal arranges tireless hunting for penguins and other warm-blooded fauna. While not refusing and from the corpses of pinnipeds and whales, with pleasure eats squid, fish and even krill. The leopard seal has a streamlined body, which makes it possible to develop a high speed in the water. His head is unusually flattened and looks almost like a reptile, the mouth has two rows of powerful teeth with fangs. The animal practically lacks subcutaneous fat.

A male leopard seal is about three meters long and 300 kilograms in weight – and the weight of a female leopard can reach half a ton. Catching the prey, the leopard can reach speeds of up to 40 km / h. Because of the streamlined shape of the body, this seal resembles a torpedo, which facilitates movement at high speed. The front fins reach a meter and working synchronously, carry the body forward. A long, flexible neck holds a flattened head resembling a snake’s head. The huge jaw has powerful jaws and huge teeth. Here is a portrait of a seal-killer.