Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Species Account/Hydrurga leptonyx

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Hydrurga leptonyx (Leopard Seal)

Where found: Leopard Seals live in the cold waters surrounding Antarctica. During the summer months, they hunt among the pack ice surrounding the continent, spending almost all of their time in the water. In the winter, they range north to the sub-Antarctic islands.

Description: Leopard Seals are large and muscular, with dark gray backs and light gray bellies. Their throats are whitish with the black spots that give the seals their common name. Females are generally larger than the males. They feed on a wide variety of creatures: smaller seals probably eat mostly krill, but also squid and fish. Larger Leopard seals probably switch to feed on King and Emperor Penguins and, less frequently, seals such as Crabeater Seals. Leopard Seals are bold, powerful and curious. In the water, there is a fine line between curiosity and predatory behavior, and they may 'play' with penguins that they do not intend to eat.


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