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Leopard Seal

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Leopard Seal

The leopard seal, also known as the sea leopard, is a species of marine mammal belonging to the phocid family. It is one of the largest seal species and is easily recognizable by its spotted fur, which gives it its name due to its resemblance to the fur of a terrestrial leopard. Here is an overview of this impressive species:

  • Size and appearance: The leopard seal is a robust and slender species that can measure between 2.4 and 3.5 meters in length and weigh between 200 and 600 kilograms. Males are generally larger than females. Their body is elongated and aerodynamic, which allows them to move with agility in the water. Their fur is dark gray or black on top and white below, and covered in irregular spots, similar to the spots of a terrestrial leopard, providing them with excellent camouflage in the wild.

  • Distribution and habitat: The leopard seal is found in cold, subantarctic waters around the Southern Ocean. They can be found in various regions, including the Falkland Islands, the South Georgia Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, and other sub-Antarctic islands. They prefer coastal areas and floating ice shelves where they can rest and raise their young.

  • Diet: They are carnivorous and their diet is mainly based on fish, cephalopods (such as squid) and krill, which are small marine crustaceans. They are agile and fast hunters in the water, using their streamlined body to easily swim and capture their prey.

  • Behavior: Leopard seals are solitary animals in most cases. They spend most of their lives in the sea, but they are also capable of moving on dry land. They are excellent swimmers and can dive to considerable depths in search of food, sometimes reaching depths of more than 100 meters and remaining underwater for long periods.

  • Breeding: The breeding season for leopard seals usually occurs in the austral spring. Females give birth to a single young on the ice or on dry land. After a period of lactation, the mother leaves her young to search for food in the sea, returning periodically to feed her. The calves are vulnerable during this stage and are exposed to predators such as killer whales and sharks until they gain the strength and skills to survive on their own.

Approximate measurements of the Leopard Seal:

  • 1:24 scale - 73mm
  • Acrylic supports