Leopard seals are flesh-eating monsters. No, really. They are gigantic, and they have these long weird necks and overly big mouths with too many sharp teeth in them, and they will eat anything. Penguins. Smaller seals. And now, it turns out, little tiny defenseless krill. Only the seals don’t just chomp down on the krill. No, a leopard seal eats krill by “sucking them into its mouth and sieving them through special teeth,” Nature News reports.
The trident-shaped teeth allow the seal to suck in krill-laden water, then expel the water, leaving the krill behind. It’s basically the same way baleen whales eat, except that leopard seals will also happily bite the shit out of you with their normal teeth. They’re like whales that kill! Killer whales! I’m trademarking that.
Scientists had predicted this, because wtf else were the seals doing with three-pronged teeth? But the seals hadn’t been observed actually sieving small fish through their teeth. Now scientists have not only seen the seals suck in fish like monsters but caught them doing it on film, so we could see too:
The scientists were not surprised. Nature News:
At her very first go, Sabine sucked a fish out and expelled the excess water through the sides of her mouth. Hocking called up his team: “Yep, they do it, all right!”
Congratulations, leopard seal: You are the scariest seal. Not like competition was stiff or anything.
- Leopard seals suck up krill like whales, Nature News
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