We saw 4 types of seals – Leopard, Weddell, Elephant and Crabeater.
Weddell seals and Emperor penguins are the only winter animals in Antarctica. The Weddells have a low life expectancy due to starvation as their teeth gradually wear away. You see, in order to stay down in Antarctica for the winter they have to keep an air hole open that will allow them access to the sea and the ice shelf above. As a result their teeth gradually wear away as they bit out the hole. Conversely, they have a low infant mortality rate as they birth on land, or rather on the ice, as no one else is down there so there are no predators for their pups.
Crabeater seals are smaller than the rest and they migrate down for the summer. Unfortunately, their pups are more likely to be eaten by the Leopard seals as they do their birthing down here.
Leopard seals are the main predator other than Orcas in Antarctica. They will eat most things, including Crabeater seal pups and penguins. For more on this, visit this post.
For Elephant seals, check out this post. These animals are pretty lazy to say the least and are enormous but slow…
To be perfectly honest I can’t tell the seals apart and more or less just assumed what we saw were Crabeaters unless told otherwise. The most frequent spot where they were found was on icebergs.