Devilish Teeth of the Crabeater Seals

Leave a Comment


Crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophaga) are the most abundant species of seals and are widely distributed along the pack ice that surrounds Antarctica. Despite their name, the crabeater seal does not actually eat crabs, instead feeding almost exclusively on Antarctic krill. To help them separate krill from seawater, the seals posses complex serrated teeth with multiple cusps. The structure of their teeth is reflected in their scientific name Lobodon which means lobed teeth. The name carcinophaga comes from the Greek word "karkinos" meaning crab and "phagein" which means to eat. The seals feed by swimming through schools of krill with their mouth open. Having trapped both krill and water in the cavity of the mouth, the seal closes its jaw and sieves the water out using their sophisticated teeth. A ridge of bone fills the gap between the teeth and the back of the jaw, stopping prey from escaping from the mouth while feeding.

An adult crabeater seal grow over 2 meters in length and can weigh around 200 kg, while large seals can be over 300 kg in weight. 90% of their diet comprise of the Antarctic krill, the single species with the greatest biomass on the planet. The high abundance of the crabeater seals is a testament to their extreme success in killing Antarctic krill.


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit

Also see: Pacu, The Fish With Very Human Teeth

Sources: Wikipedia / Marinebio / Cetacean Society International

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get articles like this delieverd straight to your inbox


Post a Comment

Amusing Planet appreciates your comments, except when they are SPAM. Such comments will be deleted immediately before they appear on this page. Spamming is futile, so please avoid.

To ensure that this page is free of spam, all comments are moderated, so it may take a while for your comments to appear.