We were fortunate to see several seals on coastal Antarctica. There are three predominate species: Crabeater seals (somewhat misleading, as there are no crabs to eat there: they eat krill), Fur seals (notable because of their somewhat furry coats), and Leopard seals, the bad boys of Antarctica (above).


Seals are fairly stationary targets for photos when on land or ice, as their mobility is limited, but in the water it's difficult to get a decent photo of them, as they don't surface for long and move rapidly.


Leopard seals are pretty much top of the food chain here, and are formidable predators. While they do occasionally eat other seals, their primary food sources are krill and penguins. Often they toy with penguins, much like a cat with a mouse, before consuming it, and we watched a leopard seal tossing a penguin in the air several times before finally eating. With large sharp teeth they grab the penguin by the feet and violently slam it side to side on the water or ice until it literally comes out of its skin. Antarctic tourists are well served to keep arms and legs well inside the Zodiac when viewing these guys.


Fur seals are smaller than Leopard seals and much more docile, but can become cantankerous if approached.