Crabeater seals, which we fondly call "Crabbies", are another seal species that are truly an Antarctic species. They are found all along the Antarctic coast. There are fewer on the warmer parts of Antarctica, so fewer around Palmer Station than in continental Antarctica. They love to lounge on pack ice and ice floes (like the one shown here). They can be recognized by their long snouts and light fur.
Do they eat crab? Absolutely not. They eat mostly Antarctic krill. The crabeaters have remarkable teeth that acts as a strainer to keep krill inside their mouths while water can leave (think about how a strainer works for pasta!). They are the most abundant seal species in the world.
It's hard to believe that these gentle seals are closely related to the leopard seal!
Growing up watching nature documentaries, I find myself now immersed in nature's splendor. As an ecologist I study how ecosystems function. Here I share with you my love of doing research in Antarctica - a place of sheer beauty