Weddell Seal

The Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii, inhabits the fast ice and the area near the shore around the whole of Antarctica. It is the seal most likely to be encountered at close quarters by a visitor (and is the "star" of program 5, which contains many images of adult and baby seals.) Weddell seals are usually found in groups, sometimes up to many hundreds in size, though breeding and non-breeding groups are usually distinct. These seals show a distinct preference for lying on snow or ice, even when rock or shingle beaches are available. Birth and rearing of young occurs from September to November, depending on latitude, and at this season there is considerable territorial fighting between the males.

The food of the Weddell Seal consists mainly of fish, though some squid and other invertebrates are taken. These seals are capable of deep diving to seek their food, and have specially adapted eyes for seeing underwater in low levels of light intensity.


 • The Foraging Biology of Weddell Seals
Information and Field Notes on the October to December 2001 field research on the feeding biology of Weddell seals
 • Weddell Seals
Information on the Weddell seal including taxonomy.
 • Seals
Links to information on the Crabeater, Elephant, Antarctic Fur, Leopard and Weddell seals.