Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Carnivora > Phocidae > Lobodon > Lobodon carcinophaga

Lobodon carcinophaga (Crabeater Seal)

Synonyms: Lobodon carcinophagus

Wikipedia Abstract

The crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophaga or carcinophagus) is a true seal with a circumpolar distribution around the coast of Antarctica. They are medium- to large-sized (over 2 m in length), relatively slender and pale-colored, found primarily on the free-floating pack ice that extends seasonally out from the Antarctic coast, which they use as a platform for resting, mating, social aggregation and accessing their prey. They are by far the most abundant seal species in the world. While population estimates are uncertain, there are at least 7 million and possibly as many as 75 million individuals. This success of this species is due to its specialized predation on the abundant Antarctic krill of the Southern Ocean, for which it has uniquely adapted, sieve-like tooth structure. Indeed, its s
View Wikipedia Record: Lobodon carcinophaga

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 12.4
EDGE Score: 2.6


Adult Weight [2]  551.16 lbs (250.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  50.71 lbs (23.00 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  4 years
Male Maturity [2]  4 years 6 months
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  100 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Gestation [2]  8 months 19 days
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  1
Migration [1]  Intraoceanic
Nocturnal [1]  Yes
Water Biome [1]  Pelagic, Coastal
Weaning [2]  28 days

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Macquarie Island Nature Reserve Ia 233540 Tasmania, Australia  
Palmer LTER Site Long Term Ecological Research   Antarctica    
Tierra Del Fuego National Park II 172861 Argentina


Prey / Diet

Antarctomysis maxima[4]
Dissostichus eleginoides (Patagonsky klykach)[5]
Dissostichus mawsoni (Antarctic blenny)[5]
Euphausia crystallorophias (ice krill)[6]
Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill)[5]
Ningaui yvonnae (Southern Ningaui)[4]
Onykia ingens (warty squid)[5]
Pleuragramma antarctica (Antarctic silverfish)[4]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Allothunnus fallai (Tuna)1
Aphrodroma brevirostris (Kerguelen Petrel)1
Aptenodytes forsteri (Emperor Penguin)5
Aptenodytes patagonicus (King Penguin)1
Arctocephalus gazella (Antarctic Fur Seal)1
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)1
Balaenoptera bonaerensis (Antarctic Minke Whale)2
Bathydraco marri (Deepwater dragon)1
Chaenocephalus aceratus (Scotian icefish)1
Chaenodraco wilsoni (Spiny icefish)1
Champsocephalus esox (Pike icefish)1
Champsocephalus gunnari (Mackerel icefish)1
Chionodraco myersi (Myers' icefish)1
Cygnodraco mawsoni (Mawson's dragonfish)2
Daption capense (Cape Petrel)1
Diomedea epomophora (Royal Albatross)1
Diomedea exulans (Wandering Albatross)1
Dissostichus eleginoides (Patagonsky klykach)2
Dissostichus mawsoni (Antarctic blenny)1
Electrona carlsbergi (Electron subantarctic)1
Eudyptes chrysolophus (Macaroni Penguin)1
Fulmarus glacialoides (Southern Fulmar)1
Globicephala melas (Long-finned Pilot Whale)1
Gobionotothen angustifrons (Narrowhead rockcod)1
Gobionotothen gibberifrons (Humped rockcod)1
Gymnodraco acuticeps (Ploughfish)2
Gymnoscopelus braueri (Lanternfish)1
Gymnoscopelus nicholsi (Nichol's lanternfish)1
Gymnoscopelus opisthopterus (Lanternfish)1
Halobaena caerulea (Blue Petrel)1
Hyperoodon planifrons (Southern Bottlenose Whale)1
Lagenorhynchus cruciger (Hourglass Dolphin)1
Lampris immaculatus (Moonfish)1
Larus dominicanus (Kelp Gull)1
Lepidonotothen squamifrons (Grey rockcod)1
Leptonychotes weddellii (Weddell Seal)1
Lindbergichthys nudifrons (Yellowfin notie)1
Macronectes giganteus (Southern Giant Petrel)1
Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale)3
Mirounga leonina (Southern Elephant Seal)1
Nototheniops larseni (Painted notie)1
Oceanites oceanicus (Wilson's Storm-Petrel)1
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)1
Pachyptila desolata (Antarctic Prion)1
Pachyptila turtur (Fairy Prion)1
Pagodroma nivea (Snow Petrel)1
Pagothenia borchgrevinki (Bald notothen)1
Parachaenichthys georgianus (Antarctic dragonfish)1
Phoebetria palpebrata (Light-mantled Albatross)1
Physeter macrocephalus (Sperm Whale)1
Procellaria aequinoctialis (White-chinned Petrel)1
Pseudochaenichthys georgianus (South Georgia icefish)1
Pygoscelis adeliae (Adelie Penguin)4
Pygoscelis antarcticus (Chinstrap Penguin)1
Pygoscelis papua (Gentoo Penguin)2
Stercorarius maccormicki (South Polar Skua)1
Sterna vittata (Antarctic Tern)1
Thalassarche chrysostoma (Grey-headed Albatross)1
Thalassarche melanophris (Black-browed Albatross)2
Thalassoica antarctica (Antarctic Petrel)1
Trematomus hansoni (Striped rockcod)1
Trematomus newnesi (Dusky notothen)1
Vomeridens infuscipinnis (Antarctic dragonfish)1


Hydrurga leptonyx (Leopard seal)[5]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[5]


Parasitized by 
Antarctophthirus lobodontis[7]
Baylisia baylisi[8]
Baylisia supergonoporis[8]
Contracaecum osculatum[7]
Contracaecum radiatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Corynosoma bullosum[8]
Corynosoma hamanni[8]
Corynosoma pseudohamanni[8]
Diphyllobothrium lobodoni[8]
Diphyllobothrium quadratum[8]
Flexobothrium microovatum[8]
Parorchites zederi[8]

Range Map

Antarctica/Southern Ocean; Australia; South America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Who's Eating Who
6Food of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, Y. Cherel and G. L. Kooyman, Marine Biology (1998) 130: 335-344
7Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19
8Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access