The leopard seal is a ferocious predator.
When it comes to the ocean's most ferocious predators, many people don't put seals on that list. Maybe it's because these animals have always gotten a Hollywood-style treatment where they are often portrayed as cute and cuddly creatures of the sea. However, the truth is that some seals are downright nasty and ferocious predators.
Take the leopard seal for instance. A resident of Antarctica, this large mammal feeds on fish, but it also feeds on other seals and birds. In this video from BBC Earth, the nasty attitude of this animal is on full display.
A lowly penguin must swim for its life to escape ending up in the belly of this giant leopard seal that simply seems to be playing with its food.
The penguin just barely made it on top of that iceberg only moments before the seal grabbed it in his jaws. It seems like the predator may have overplayed things a hair here. Instead of going in for the kill, it played around with its meal and that allowed it enough time to get to safety on top of the iceberg. It was the penguin's lucky day!
In case you were wondering, leopard seals can reach lengths over 10 feet and weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Not exactly an animal you want to agitate or mess around with. There have been a few recorded fatal attacks on humans, but a documented case of a fatal leopard seal attack was not recorded until the start of the 21st century. Fortunately, attacks are extremely rare.
The ferocious growl and huge jaws of this seal caught us off-guard a little bit. That is what we love about nature though. It continues to surprise us, and we learn something new every day. We can also see why they call these leopard seals.