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Leopard Seal

Leopard Seal (Hydrurga Leptonyx)Leopard Seal (Hydrurga Leptonyx)Leopard Seal (Hydrurga Leptonyx)Leopard Seal (Hydrurga Leptonyx)Leopard Seal (Hydrurga Leptonyx)
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Leopard Seal Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Carnivora
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Phocidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Hydrurga
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Hydrurga Leptonyx
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Carnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
2.4-3.2m (7.9-10.5ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
200-591kg (440-1,300lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
29km/h (18mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
20-24 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Herd
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Fur
Favourite Food:Penguin
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Cold waters of the southern hemisphere
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
1
Main Prey:Penguin, Fish, Squid
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Sharks, Killer Whale
Special Features:Spot-patterned fur and long, sharp teeth

Leopard Seal Location

Map of Leopard Seal Locations

Leopard Seal

The leopard seal is the second largest species of seal in the world (behind the elephant seal) with some female leopard seals growing to 3.5 m in length! The bull leopard seal (male leopard seal) is generally smaller than the female leopard seal with large males growing to around 3m.

The leopard seal is native to the frozen waters of the Antarctic but is also found to the north in the warmer climates. Leopard seals are often seen near South America, South Africa, New Zealand and around the south coast of Australia often in the warmer waters that are on close proximity of the frozen seas which the leopard seal thrives.

The leopard seal is a dominant predator in its environment and is rarely preyed upon by other animals with the exception of human hunters, the occasional desperate shark or killer whale . The leopard seal eats krill and plankton in the water but the leopard seals prefer to hunt larger fish and squid. Leopard seals have also been known to occasionally hunt even larger animals such as penguins.

Leopard seal can live for more than 25 years, with this often depending on the size of the leopard seal and the skills of the leopard seal, as far as hunting goes. Leopard seals are extremely dominant and aggressive predators in their environment.

Like other species of seal , the leopard seal uses its hind limbs in order to push the leopard seal through the water. Leopard seals have also developed strong front limbs that help the leopard seal to be more agile in the water. The way in which the leopard seal uses its front limbs in conjunction with its hind limbs, is very similar to the way in which seal lions move about.

The Leopard Seal is a solitary animal with the leopard seals only coming together in small groups when it is time to mate. The female leopard seal digs herself a hole in the ice and the leopard seal pup is born after a gestation period of about 9 months, during the Antarctic summer time. The female leopard seal weans and protects her leopard seal pup until the leopard seal pup is big enough and strong enough to be able to fend for itself.

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First Published: 15th December 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 15 Dec 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 15 Dec 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 15 Dec 2008]

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