Seal Species Overview
There are 18 known species of true seals out there that have been identified. The characteristics of them help scientists to determine which category to place them into. There are two sub families that seals fall into that we will explore. They are Monachinae and Phocinae.
The are of the few types of seals that can move gracefully over land and ice. In fact, the crabeater will move great distances on land where others will travel like that in the water only. Many people wonder why they have such a name as they don’t consume crabs. Their main source of food is krill just like many other species of seals out there. One of their biggest predators is the leopard seal.
The location for the seals continues to expand as they are driven to new locations for food and habitat. In the early 1900’s this species was almost extinct due to their fur being used to make coats for women. Due to great conservation efforts though they have made an amazing comeback. In fact, some researchers worry about the issue of overpopulation with them in some areas.
The leopard seal is considered to be the most aggressive of all of them out there. They love the colder regions and thrive where there is plenty of ice around them. They are the only species of seal out there that will feed off of other species that are in the area. They have been known to attack humans so even the expert researchers keep their distance from this particular seal species.
They are extremely powerful seals and that is part of why they are such great hunters. They have very sharp teeth and they are also the fastest of all the seal species out there. In addition to consuming other seals they love to eat penguins as well while on land. They consume a variety of fish as well in the waters. The only predator that they have in nature is the killer whale.
Ross seals also live in the colder regions but they are very unknown. There are less than 150,000 of them alive so they are in danger of extinction. They are hard to learn about because they live in the depths of the ice packs where humans find it hard to survive. Southern elephant seals are the largest of all the species of seals. They too have a low population of only 650,000. However, there is evidence to suggest that their numbers are rising.
Considered to be the most beautiful species of seal is the Weddell. They have very small faces with long whiskers which makes them very adorable. You will often find that movies and cartoons involving seals portray this species due to the appeal they have with an audience.
There is plenty of terrific information out there about specific species of seals. It can be fun to compare them so you can identify how they are all similar as well as their differences. You may want to find materials on a given species of seal and explore it fully before you move on to the next one. This allows you the chance to become very familiar with a particular species of this animal. As you learn more about them you will also come to appreciate their value here on Earth.