Behavioural record – Leopard seal eating sand

The Leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, which hauled out at Cove Rock on the 3rd August 2014 (see previous post) was observed eating sand before being assisted back into the ocean by museum scientist Kevin Cole. The collage of photos below illustrates this.

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Leopard seal at Cove Rock eating sand. Photos: Kevin Cole, East London Museum

There are very few records of the species having hauled out along the South African coastline. This is a solitary species – sexes may only come together to mate. Their natural habitat is circumpolar, inhabiting the Antarctic pack ice with an estimated population size of about 300 000.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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