The Wondrous Weddell Seal





      The Weddell seals have an intense competitive relationship with other seals that feed in the shallower portions of the ocean since fish is what is mostly consumed by all seals (Terhune, 1994).    


      Most of all Weddell seals are impacted by what is known as Antarctophithirus ogmorhin; a parasitic worm that lives in the arctic regions of the world (Bayi, O. 2000). These worms are free-floating and typically live near the ocean floor, which is why Weddell seals are one of the only seal species to be affected by these parasites. After they are ingested, the worms attack the posterior part of the animal, specifically its genital region. The seal regurgitates the worms into their mouth to try to expel them out, but this typically does not work. Another parasite that attacks the Weddell seal is lice (Bayi, O. 2000).


        Moreover, humans have been known to kill Weddell seals to use as dog food. On a positive note, humans also have used studies of the Weddell seal vocalizations in order to advance our ability to understand and potentially communicate to animals (Terhune, 1994).


List of references used in this section:

Stirling, I. 1971. Leptonychotes weddelli. Mammalian Species. No. 6. The American Society of Mammalogists.

Bayi, O. 2000. "Leptonychotes weddellii" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 18, 2014 at

Terhune, J. M. 1994. Bioacoustics. Vol. 5. pp. 223-6. The International Journal of Animal Sound and its Recording. Great Britian.


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