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Hydrurga leptonyx

Leopard seals–observing their form and motion for possible segment in thesis. Here are some reference images I’m using to inspire how my seals will move, and how I will frame them in the composition.

“Considered the most ferocious seal in the Antarctic, Leopard seals are found among the pack ice in summer and on the more northerly sub-Antarctic islands in winter. The only seal to prey on other seal species, there are many tales from early explorers about harrowing encounters with Leopard seals. However, although attacks by ’sea leopards’ on humans have been documented, most of the stories are just folklore. That said, present-day Antarctic scientists know enough to keep their distance from this seal’s formidable jaws.

Leopard seals have a muscular, somewhat reptilian head, with a sinuous neck, highly arched back and long powerful flippers. The body is dark grey above and light grey below and they have white throats with black spots. These distinctive spots are what give the Leopard seal its name. As one might expect, Leopard seals have impressively long, sharp teeth which are well-adapted for cutting and tearing the flesh of prey. Their streamlined bodies are built for speed and power; their smooth, impermiable skin allowing them to easily slice through the water on pursuit dives. These characteristics combined with excellent sight and smell have established Leopard seals as one of the consummate predators of the Antarctic. “
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And, as I consider sound for this sequence,
“Two groups of underwater vocalizations were identified in a three-year study of two captive leopard seals, Hydurga leptonyx (one female and one male at Taronga Zoo, Sydney). This was supplemented by recordings over three months from a male at Marineland, New Zealand. The sexual state of the seals at Taronga was deduced from serum hormonal concentrations: the female was considered to be in estrus at specific times during the breeding season. The seal at Marineland, New Zealand was assumed to be sexually mature on the basis of size and age. Of 12 different underwater sound types recorded, six were produced by the seals at Taronga Zoo during agonistic interactions (local calls) and were heard through most of the year. The other six sound types were produced by lone seals. These broadcast calls were produced by the female only when sexually receptive, and by the mature male during December and January, months believed to be the breeding season of wild leopard seals. We propose that underwater acoustic behavior is important in the mating system of this species, and that broadcast calls are used by mature females to advertise their sexual receptivity, and possibly by mature males in search of mates.”
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leopard_seals_05
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leopard_seals_07
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leopard_seals_10
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leopard-seal-beached-5650581
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leopard-seal-18384-m

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