You’re going to enjoy some of the most beautiful weddell seal facts including weddell seal diet, behavior, physical features, and reprocution. The weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) is a large species of seal and is known to have circumpolar distribution around Antarctica. These animals belong to the family of Phocidae and are the lone member of genus Leptonychotes. The weddell seal inhabits along the in-shore habitats over the pack ice. These types of seals are abundant which is why they are widely studied in order to know the exact behavior of seals. According to an estimate, there are around 800,000 weddell seals existing today. The seal pups are adept to leave their mother after few months of their birth. These juveniles permanently leave their mother after when they’re trained to hunt by themselves. The seal was named after the British sealing captain James Weddell discovered in the Southern Ocean.
Weddell Seal Facts – Interesting and Amazing
- The length of the weddell seal measures around 2.5 – 3.5 meters (8.2 – 11.5 feet) while the weight is 400 – 600 kg (880 – 1360 lbs).
- The females are larger than males.
- The male weddell seal weighs around 500 kg (1,100 lbs).
- The females have less broader and relatively less dense as compared to males.
- The seal’s coat begins to moult at the start of the summer season.
- The juveniles exhibit grey pelage in their initial 3 – 4 weeks and it becomes darker as the time goes on.
- The young reach the maturity age at their 3rd birthday.
- The weight of the pups measure around 25 – 30 kg (55 – 66 lb), with the weight they gain each day is 2 kg (4.4 lb), and after one and a half month the weight becomes 100 kg (220 lb).
- The weddell seals are usually found in small groups around ice-holes. However, large gatherings are also observed on ice that is linked to the continent. These species are too passive and docile and are often seen to approach easily.
- The birth usually takes place in the early September and November.
- The first breeding of weddell seal is seen to take place around 7 – 8 years old.
- After couple of weeks later, these animals tend will start swimming.
- The weddell seals are capable to hold their breath for about 5 minutes that allow them to dive at a depth of 100 meters (330 feet).
- They can dive as deep as 700 meters (2,300 feet). the weddell seals can be submerged for about 80 minutes.
The weddell seals primarily feed on squid, crustaceans, fish, krill, cephalopods, prawns, and rarely penguins. The species are known to consume 10 kg (22 lb) each day; while an active adult seals eat 50 kg (110 lb) each day. When there is enough light to observe things, weddell seals rely on their eyesight for hunting the prey. They have no natural predators except some killer whales and leopard seals occasionally prey on them. The lifespan of weddell seals is about 20 years which is far less than those other seal’s lifespan of 40 years.