PORT PHILLIP BAY


Crabeater Seal 

Lobodon carcinophagus

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Carnivora
Family:
Phocidae
Genus:
Lobodon
Species:
carcinophagus

General Description

Dark brown fur above with cream-white fur below. Fur colour changes throughout the year and becomes entirely blonde during the summer months. Distinct teeth, which are thought to form a sieve for filtering krill. Very reduced external ears. Pups have woolly grey-brown fur and darker limbs. Up to 2.4 m long.

Biology

Crabeater Seals are typically solitary or live in small groups. They dive for krill mainly at night and do not eat crabs, despite their name. Breeding occurs between October and November.

Humans interactions include:
Have been used to feed sled dogs at Antarctic bases.

Habitat

Pack ice and near freezing waters, to depth of 430 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Antarctica, southern Africa, New Zealand and South America. Potentially near Port Phillip, recorded from Victoria.

Species Group

Mammals Seals

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

2.4 m

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Fitzgerald, E.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald is a Senior Curator of palaeontology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Jefferies, R.

Dr. Ryan Jefferies is a volunteer online editor at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Fitzgerald, E. & Jefferies, R., 2011, Crabeater Seal, Lobodon carcinophagus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5724

Text: creative commons cc by licence