Leopard seals are deadly apex predators of the Arctic Circle. They are very aggressive and nimble in the water. For this reason divers are warned to maintain a safe distance of at least 100ft when diving. The aggressive behavior of leopard seals makes them very difficult to study.
Leopard seals are characterized by their reptilian shaped head and very sharp teeth. They are well equipped for life in the Arctic. Not only are leopard seals very large (400 lbs. – 1300 lbs.), but they are also very nimble in the water with top speeds of 18mph. Leopard seals live for about 20-24 yrs and can grow to be as long as 12 feet. Their only predator is the killer whale.
It is suggested that all divers stay within 100 ft of leopard seals as they are known for their aggression. Leopard seals are not known to attack humans. However, there was a horrific tragedy where, despite all precautions, a research biologist was attacked by a leopard seal.
Watch the following clip about these apex predators of the Arctic in the clip below. ( warning – parts of this clip may be a bit graphic)
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