Leopard seal swimming near an iceberg

Leopard seal

Leopard seals are named after their spotty coats and for being fearsome hunters. As one of the top predators in Anatarctic waters, they fill the niche that polar bears hold in the Arctic. Leopard seals attack and eat other seals, penguins and fish, however about half their diet is made up of small shrimp-like crustaceans called krill.

Scientific name: Hydrurga leptonyx

Rank: Species

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The Leopard seal can be found in a number of locations including: Antarctica. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Leopard seal distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Leopard seal

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