SeaLab: Antarctica: The Mission
Image: Seals
Crabeater seals

>> SPECIES DIVERSITY: Playful and energetic, seals are some of the Antarctic’s most colorful residents. Six species are found there: Antarctic fur, crabeater, leopard, ross, southern elephant, and Weddell.

>> WATERPROOFING: When out of the cold water, seals hang out on the even colder sea ice. Thick blubber and dense fur keep them warm.

>> BODY SHAPE: Torpedo-shaped bodies help seals travel quickly underwater.

>> KRILL DEPENDENCE: Krill makes up a large portion of the diet of the crabeater, Antarctic fur, and leopard seals. The misnamed crabeater seal—the most abundant marine mammal in the world—feeds on almost nothing but krill, putting away up to 25 times its body weight in krill a year.


Photograph by Bryan Alexander
© 2001 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.