Leopard Seal Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Dina Albert
There are many animals that live in Antarctica. Penguins and Whales might be the ones that you picture first, but in this lesson you will learn about Leopard Seals.

Characteristics of Leopard Seals

Leopard seals, also known as Sea Leopards, get their name from the spotted grey skin that looks like the Leopard cat. They can weigh between 800 and 1,300 pounds (heavier than a horse) and grow between 10 and 12 feet long (just a little less than a car's length). Leopard Seals have a large mouth with long sharp teeth.

Leopard Seal
leopard seal

They have front flippers and can swim up to 18 miles per hour, so fast that it has enough speed to launch out of the water and catch its food. Depending on how much food there is, these seals can live up to 26 years.

Habitat and Diet

There are about 200,000 leopard seals in the world. They are the second largest type of seal that live on the icy edge around Antarctica, in the southern part of the world. Some of these seals have also been spotted near the southern parts of Africa and Australia.


Antarctica is very cold, with the lowest ever temperature being recorded at about -129 degrees Fahrenheit. To help with this, the seals have a big layer of blubber (fat) underneath their skin that keeps them warm. Unlike other seals that live in large groups, leopard seals live in solitary meaning they live alone though sometimes you might see them in very small groups. Usually these seals only come together to have baby seals but then live separately. If you want to see some very cute seals you should visit Antarctica in November and December because that's when mother seals have their babies.

baby seal
baby seal

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