The leopard seal is so-called because of its spotted markings and leopard-like ferocity. They live mainly in the sea and on the pack ice around the fringes of the Antarctic ice pack.

A life in the sea

The leopard seal, like all true seals, is well-adapted for a life in an ocean habitat. It has a streamlined, torpedo-shaped body and propels itself through the water by moving its hind flippers from side to side. The front flippers are used for steering and they are very long which helps the seal to change direction quickly - important when chasing fast- swimming prey. It can swim at speeds up to 24 mph when chasing its penguin prey - a little faster than the fastest penguin. When in need of a rest, the seal hauls itself out onto the ice pack, but here it is awkard in its movements and takes the opportunity to recover from its exertions in the water.

Read More: Hunting and feeding

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