Crabeater Seal or Krill-eater Seal * Krapvreterrob * Lobodon Carcinophaga

The crabeater seal does not actually eat crabs, despite its name. Instead, it is an expert predator of Antarctic krill, which makes up more than 90% of their diet.

They are typically found on the free-floating pack ice that extends annually from the Antarctic shore. They are medium- to large-sized (over 2 m in length), somewhat slender, and pale in color. They use this ice as a platform for resting, mating, social gathering, and reaching their prey. They are by far the most prevalent species of seal on the planet.

Over the course of five years, adult seals reach lengths of 2.3 m (7.5 ft) and weights of roughly 200 kg (440 lb). In general, females are 8 kilos (18 lb) heavier and 6 cm (2.4 in) longer than males.

Only infrequent sightings or strandings of crabeater seals have been reported along the southern coasts of Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Crabeaters are the most sociable of the Antarctic seals, and they have been seen on the ice in groups of up to 1,000 hauled-out animals and in swimming groups of several hundred individuals, practically simultaneously inhaling and diving.

In the dry, cold air of Antarctica, where they can be preserved for generations by becoming mummified, carcasses have been discovered more than 100 kilometers from the water and more than 1000 meters above sea level.

Due to the loss of huge blue whales during the era of commercial whaling, the following explosion in krill biomass, and the absence of significant competing factors, population models show crabeater seal populations may have expanded at rates as high as 9% per year in the 20th century.