antarctic mammals

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Leopard Seal

The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), also referred to as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the southern elephant seal). The leopard seal is large and muscular, with a dark grey back and light grey on its stomach. Its throat is whitish with the black spots that give the seal its common name. The overall length of this seal is 7.9–11.5 feet and weight is from 440 to 1,320 pounds. 

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Antarctic fur seals feel climate impacts

An unusual opportunity is afforded by three decades of individual-based data collected from a declining population of Antarctic fur seals in the South Atlantic. Here, climate change has reduced prey availability and caused a significant decline in seal birth weight. However, the mean age and size of females recruiting into the breeding population are increasing.

The results provide compelling evidence that selection due to climate change is intensifying, with far-reaching consequences for demography as well as phenotype and genetic variation.