Leopard Seal

Leopard Seal

The only species in the genus Hydrurga, the Leopard seal is the second largest species of seal of the Antarctic. These earless seals are highly dangerous and aggressive towards humans.

Scientific Name – Hydrurga leptonyx

Classification – Hydrurga

Gender Names – Male – bull; Female – cow; Baby – pup

Collective Noun – Herd, pod, rookery, harem

Length/Size – 2.4-3.2m (7.9-10.5ft)

Weight – 200-591kg (440-1,300lbs)

Top Speed – 29km/h (18mph)

Life Expectancy – 20-24 years

Mating Season  After the pupping season in February

Gestation Period – 9 months

Special Features  Fur is spotted and the teeth are long and sharp

Social Structure – Males live in their own herds or ‘harems’ with multiple females

Geographical Distribution – Throughout the Antarctic continent

Natural Habitat – Cold waters of the southern hemisphere

World Population – 220,000-440,000 (estimated)

Conservation Status – Least Concern

Diet – Penguin, Fish, Squid

Predators – Human, Sharks, Killer Whale