|Hydrurga leptonyx range map|
The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), also known as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the Southern Elephant Seal). It is most common in the southern hemisphere along the coast of Antarctica and on most sub-Antarctic islands, but can also be found on the coasts of southern Australia, Tasmania, South Africa, New Zealand, Lord Howe Island, Tierra del Fuego, the Cook Islands, and the Atlantic coast of South America. It can live twenty-six years, possibly more. Killer whales, and large sharks are the only natural predators of leopard seals. They eat Crabeater seals, consuming 80% of their young. They are large and strong. They have a dark grey back and a light grey stomach. Its neck is a little bit white with black spots, which is the pattern of a leopard's coat. That is how it got its name. Leopard seals are carnivores. It eats penguins, seagulls, fish, squid, octopuses, krill, shrimps, crabs and even other seals.