Seals eat penguins as a part of their varied diets. The four primary types of seals that prolifically eat penguins are leopard seals, sea lions, fur seals, and Weddell seals.
All other seal species mainly consume fish, cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, and octopus), mollusks, krill, and plankton.
What Kind of Animal Is a Seal?
A seal (Pinnipedia) is a sem-aquatic marine mammal of the family Phocidae. Pinnipedia comprises three families: Fur seals and sea lions which are eared seals of Otariidae; the true seals, earless seals (have hidden ears) of Phocidae; and the walrus, which is the only living member of the Odobenidae family.
These creatures are located in environments with cold waters, most of them are found in Antarctic and Arctic waters. They weigh 100 pounds to 4.4 tons. All pinnipeds have fin-like feet and flippers that make them good swimmers. Their big eyes help them see clearly underwater and their whiskers sense prey.
Do Seals Get Cold?
Seals are well-insulated because they are covered by thick dense fur called ‘blubber.’ It keeps them warm in cold waters. The only pinnipeds that are nearly hairless are walruses. To warm up, they occasionally pinch their skin to induce blood flow and stick their flippers out of the water.
Seals often make the ‘banana pose’ on the sandbanks to rest and warm up in the sun while still touching the waters. They also bask in the sun while lying on their backs.
How Do Seals Hunt Food?
Seals hunt and eat their prey mostly underwater using their highly sensitive whiskers, to detect vibrations in the water. Scientists have noted that seals who are blind still manage to hunt and catch their prey. They do not eat on land.
Some of the primary predators of seals are orcas, leopard seals, polar bears, and other terrestrial animals.
How Do Seals Breed?
As mammals, seals breed on land or ice. Male seals fight over the territory on the breeding beaches. Female seals become pregnant for 11 months. Pups are born on land and nursed by their mothers for 4-6 weeks and will temporarily leave the pups for short periods to eat.
Who Preys on Seals?
The seal’s natural predators are orcas, sharks, and polar bears. Humans are also seen as a big threat to seals because they are hunted for their fur, meat, and oil.
Who Preys on Seals?
Seals are not a threat to humans; in fact, they are often the prey of humans. Human activity, such as pollution and climate change also poses a threat to seals.
The hunting of seals has long been a controversial practice due to seal populations being depleted in some areas. Sea lions and seals are listed in the Endangered Species Act and are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Seals are marine mammals that often prey on penguins but their main meal is fish. They are interesting creatures that have whiskers that help them sense their prey. While they have a wide array of natural predators, they are also endangered because of human hunting practices and climate change. Seals are part of a healthy ecosystem and their populations should be preserved.