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Crabeater seals

Crabeater seals

Z936/0098

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Credit

DOUG ALLAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DOUG ALLAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Crabeater seals. Group of crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) submerged under pack ice. A scuba diver is seen at lower centre. This seal inhabits the coast and pack ice of Antarctica. It can grow up to 2.4 metres in length and weighs up to 300 kilograms. Although called the crabeater, there is no evidence that it actually feeds on crabs, instead its diet consists of krill. Crabeater seals feed at night, diving below the ice up to 150 times in a night. Its teeth have evolved so that when it closes its mouth there is a sieve- like arrangement, which allows it to filter feed. Photographed off Signy Island, South Orkney Islands, British Antarctic Territory.

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