Leptonychotes weddelli

The Weddell seal is the southern most breeding mammal in the world. He can reach 3 metres in length and 400 kg in weight. Weddell seals in proportion to their body a rather small head and short snout. They pass the winter under the ice. To breathe they make with their teeth holes in the ice. This isn’t very healthy. Abscessed, broken and worn teeth are common. This is why Weddell seals don’t get older than 18 years. Crabeaters can easily become 39 years old.
Between September and November the female gives birth to a pup of 25 kg. Within ten days the pups already weighs twice. A month after their birth the young Weddell seals already swim. While the female nurses, the male defends his territory. He does this under the colony! To relax he mates with every female that dares to dive into the water.

Weddell Seal - Photo: Steve Ebbert

Weddell Seal – Photo: Steve Ebbert

Geographic Distribution

Weddell Seal Habitat