Scientific name: Ommatophoca rossii
Physical description and related species
Ross seals are slightly smaller on average than leopard and crabeater seals, reaching about 3 metres and 200kg. Their coat is dark to light brown on the dorsal (back, upper) surface and silvery-white on the ventral (belly) surface. They have a small mouth with needle-like teeth which are well suited to catching slippery prey. Their enormous eyes may be an adaptation for hunting in the dimly-lit depths.
Distribution and abundance
Ross seals are rare and little-known. They tend to be solitary and live mainly on the densest pack ice.
Conservation status: least concern
Diet and feeding
Their main food source is squid and fish caught at mid-water depths below the pack ice.