Image A leopard seal on ice

TLF ID M008777

This is a colour photograph of a leopard seal ('Hydrurga leptonyx') lying on an ice floe. The seal is long and sinuous, and has a small head and a dark grey dorsal surface with a lighter grey underbelly. The seal has recently eaten, and blood from its kill can be seen on the ice.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Leopard seals are fierce predators, preying on other warm-blooded animals including penguins and other seals. They also consume fish and krill and any other prey that is available. Individual leopard seals can vary in their main food sources, with some animals fishing at penguin colonies while others hunt for crab-eater seal pups. Killer whales (orcas) prey on leopard seals.
  • Leopard seals have long sharp teeth that enable them to tear the flesh of their prey. They have a streamlined body built for power and speed, and their smooth, impermeable skin allows them to move quickly through the water. They also have excellent senses of sight and smell underwater.
  • Leopard seals move around the southern ocean, but are often found on the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica or around the subantarctic islands. To survive successfully in the cold water, they have a blubber layer that is laid down in the first few months of their lives. This layer protects them from freezing.
Learning area
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd 2011 (except where otherwise indicated). You may copy, communicate and adapt this metadata for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.