Crabeater seals

Crabeater seals

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Credit: DOUG ALLAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) basking on an ice floe. Despite the name, this medium-sized seal does not eat crabs but uses its specialised teeth to sieve krill out of the water. It feeds principally at night. It inhabits the Antarctic pack ice, moving north at the end of summer; sometimes young seals become disoriented and head further south, where they die and become mummified in the ice. The crabeater seal is often scarred due to fighting and attacks by its main predator, the leopard seal. Pairs raise a single pup, the male staying with the female until the pup is weaned. Photographed on the Antarctic Peninsula.

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Keywords: animal, antarctic peninsula, antarctica, aquatic, basking, carnivore, carnivorous, colony, crab-eater, crab-eating, crabeater seal, fish-eater, fish-eating, group, ice floe, lobodon carcinophagus, lying, mammal, many, marine, multiple, nature, oceanic, pinnipeds, resting, scarred, scars, sea, seals, wildlife, zoology

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