Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Why sharks should be afraid of leopard seals

Image of a leopard seal by Andrew Shiva via Wikipedia

Leopard seals in New Zealand have a dangerous appetite. Although the animals were known to eat penguins and other seals, researchers only recently discovered that sharks were on the menu as well, which was really surprising. They made this discovery while analyzing fecal samples collected from more than 100 leopard seals.

Leopard seals appear to have joined a growing list of animals (orcas, giant octopus) that dine on what we humans fear as the most dangerous animal in the ocean. Maybe the next Jaws sequel should feature a heroic leopard seal?


K van der Linde, IN Visser, R Bout, C Lalas, L Shepherd, D Hocking, B Finucci, J Fyfe, M Pinkerton. Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) in New Zealand waters predating on Chondrichthyans. Frontiers in Marine Science.

Categories: Comparative Physiology, Ocean Life, Sharks

Tags: , , ,

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