DOUG ALLAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DOUG ALLAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddelli) female with a week old pup. Females gather in pupping colonies on the surface of the ice to raise their young, usually returning to the same location each year. Females give birth in the Antarctic spring and nurse their pups for 5-6 weeks. The pups start to accompany their mothers into the water after 2 weeks. Weddell seals inhabit fast ice (ice attached to land or the Antarctic ice shelves) around Antarctica and subantarctic islands. They hunt fish, crustaceans, squid and krill. They can reach up to 3.3 metres in length and 400 to 600 kilograms in weight. Photographed on Signy Island, South Orkney Islands.
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