Leopard Seals have also been known to snap at people's feet through holes in the ice...
June 17, 2007 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Leopard seals, by Paul Nicklen. Leopard Seals are the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic, and are near the top of the Antarctic food chain. Paul Nicklen won first prize in the Nature Stories category of the prestigious World Press Photo contest for his photographs of Leopard Seals. The first known human fatality was in 2003 when a Leopard Seal dragged Kirsty Brown, a snorkeling biologist, underwater to her death.
posted by KokuRyu (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe some people would like to know that the picture of the seal ripping of a penguin's head is pretty graphic.
posted by jouke at 12:49 PM on June 17, 2007


Didn't Shackleton's expedition record being stalked by Leopard Seals? I think it was Thomas Orde-Lees.
posted by jeanmari at 1:28 PM on June 17, 2007


He's managed to get some really beautiful images in a totally hostile environment.
posted by nevercalm at 1:28 PM on June 17, 2007


Nice post!

I saw a talk recently by Ian Sterling, an expert on polar bears, who commented that leopard seals filled the polar bear niche in the Antarctic. Seeing these pictures, it's not hard to understand why (polar bears, previous discussion).
posted by bonehead at 1:42 PM on June 17, 2007


Maybe some people would like to know that the picture of the seal ripping of a penguin's head is pretty graphic.

More like "relieving the penguin of its interior like a cro-magnon man enjoying a fine plate of pasta." By which I mean that I agree.
posted by katillathehun at 1:45 PM on June 17, 2007


Here's a vivid account from a survivor of a leopard seal attack. (From a guy who I went to high school with).
posted by Rumple at 1:52 PM on June 17, 2007


Incredible photos. Made me think of Planet Earth, right up until the penguin-eviscerating one.

Great post, thanks!
posted by misha at 2:57 PM on June 17, 2007


Maybe some people would like to know that the picture of the seal ripping of a penguin's head is pretty graphic.

And utterly hilarious (or maybe I'm disturbed).
posted by fshgrl at 3:13 PM on June 17, 2007


Fabulous post, those pictures are incredible. Leopard seals look like some kind of weird reptile/mammal hybrid.
posted by biscotti at 3:19 PM on June 17, 2007


Who knew starfish had such a mob mentality (14th pic)?
posted by jaronson at 6:11 PM on June 17, 2007


"Then, one of them gets eaten by a seal."
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:18 PM on June 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Getting between a 300 kg predator and his prey in an environment where humans are totally helpless seems unwise.
How did the photographer survive?
posted by jouke at 8:33 PM on June 17, 2007


A bit of a double. Though a bit more focused and better researched.
posted by srboisvert at 12:28 AM on June 18, 2007


Us phocidae aren't always sweet and docile ... knowing our brethern are hunted to supply the Japanese penis market will do that to a species.

I approve this post
posted by phoque at 12:24 PM on June 18, 2007


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