Stock Photo - Weddell Seal Leptonychotes weddellii hauled out on ice near the Antarctic Peninsula, southern Ocean This is the most southerly breeding seal in the world

Stock Photo: Weddell Seal Leptonychotes weddellii hauled out on ice near the Antarctic Peninsula, southern Ocean  This is the most southerly breeding seal in the world.

Stock Photo - Weddell Seal Leptonychotes weddellii hauled out on ice near the Antarctic Peninsula, southern Ocean This is the most southerly breeding seal in the world ... , south to 78 degrees south, inhabiting both pack and fast ice A weddell seal can grow 2 8 metres 9 ft 2 in long and weigh between 400 to 600 kg 880 to 1,300 lb It is estimated that there are approximately 800,000 individuals today It is named after Sir James Weddell, commander of British sealing expeditions in the Weddell Sea It is the only species in the genus Leptonychotes Recorded dive depths to 750 m for 73 minutes On average, the Weddell Seal lives for 20 years, compared to an average life expectancy of 40 years for most other seals This is because the Weddell Seal winters under the Antarctic sea ice adjacent to continental Antarctica where it must constantly maintain breathing holes by scraping the ice with its teeth This has the effect of wearing down its teeth over time Once a Weddell Seal's teeth have worn down to a certain level, the seal is unable to eat and eventually starves to death The Weddell Seal lives further south than any other mammal, inhabiting the waters of McMurdo Sound, 1,300 km 810 mi from the South Pole The Weddell Seal is protected by the Antarctic Treaty and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals

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