The Wondrous Weddell Seal





      Weddell seals are carnivores. This means that they prey on other organisms for food. Weddell seals hunt both in the pelagic and benthic zones of the ocean. This means that these seals will swim in both shallow and deep areas of the ocean looking for food.  Here is a link to a website that shows a diagram and explains the oceanic depth divisions in detail (Oceanic divisions diagram). Weddell seals favorite organisms to hunt for are Antarctic silverfish, Emerald rock-cod and other fish (Smithsonian National Zoological Park). Fish make great meals for these seals. When diving underneath the ice, Weddell seals will use the sun to their advantage. The sun's rays cast shadows of fish that are swimming towards the waters surface.  Weddell seals will swim in deeper waters searching for silhouettes of fish near the surface to prey on (National Geographic 2014).  They also will hunt for octopuses, squids, crabs, lobsters, and other small organisms located on the ocean floor (National Geographic 2014). The Weddell seals greatest enemies are orcas and leopard seals. By being able to dive underneath the ice, these seals are able to avoid their pretators. These organisms find Weddell seals to be a delicious meal. Even though other organisms prey on Weddell seals, they are considered to be a primary consumer.  This means that they are located near the top  of the food chain. Here is a link to a website that dimenstrates a food web diagram (figure 17.2 The Antarctic pelagic food web) that the Weddell seal is a apart of (Weddell seal food web).



List of references used in this section:

Marine Conservation Society. <URL:>. Accessed 21 April 2014.

National Geographic 2014. <URL:>. Accessed 21 April 2014.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park. <URL:

weddellsealfactsheet.cfm>. Accessed 21 April 2014.



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To learn about Weddell seals reproduction behaviors, click here.


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