Imagen: Crabeater seals Lobodon carcinophaga swimming along or hauled out on fast ice floe in Bourgeois Fjord 67°40'S 67°5'W near the Antarctic Peninsula  The Crabeater.

Foto de stock - Crabeater seals Lobodon carcinophaga swimming along or hauled out on fast ice floe in Bourgeois Fjord 67°40'S 67°5'W near the Antarctic Peninsula The Crabeater Seal, at a population of 25 to 50 million is perhaps the second most numerous large species of mammals on Earth, after humans More than one in every two seals in the world is a Crabeater Seal and the population biomass of Crabeaters is about four times that of all other pinnipeds put together It is also one of the fastest seals, a crabeater seal can swim 16 mph Males grow to about 2 2 m to about 2 6 m 7 26 to 8 6 ft and weigh roughly between 200 and 300 kg 440 to 660 lbs Females grow up to 3 6 m 142 in in length and 500 lb 230 kg in weight Pups are born about 1 2 metres in length and weigh between 20 and 30 kilograms While nursing, pups grow at a rate of about 4 2 kilograms a day They are weaned after 2-3 weeks Despite its name, its diet does not include crabs Instead, a crabeater seal's unusual multilobed teeth enable this species to sieve krill from the water Its dentition looks like a perfect strainer, but how it operates in detail is still unknown 98 of the Crabeater Seal's food consists of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba The seals consume over 80 million tons of krill each year Explorer and naturalist E A Wilson, who accompanied British explorer Robert Falcon Scott on the 1910-1913 Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole, recorded that the Crabeater seal will, when close to death, leave the pack and travel far up glaciers to die He observed Crabeater carcasses on a number of occasions, 'thirty miles from the seashore and 3, 000 feet 910 m above sea-level'

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Michael S. Nolan

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