Weddell Seal * Weddel-rob * Leptonychotes Weddellii

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They are among the biggest seals, with a big body and fore flippers that are rather short compared to their body length. Males often weigh 500 kg (1,100 lb).

They have been seen to dive for up to an hour at a depth of 600 meters. Weddell seals are top predators in the Antarctic. They eat an array of fish and prawns. There have been numerous reports of them following and killing penguins in the wild, despite the fact that seabirds are not typically part of their diet.

After the crabeater seal, weddell seals are the most prevalent species of phocid in Antarctica.

Based on high-resolution satellite photographs from November 2011 that span the whole ecological area of the species, the most recent estimate places the number of female seals at around 200,000.

Weddell seal populations saw substantial decreases during the early phases of Antarctic exploration due to hunting for food and oil. Following the end of commercial sealing in the 1980s, populations have since recovered.