Watch: Leopard seals cooperate for food

New drone footage has shown leopard seals joining the ranks of other marine mammals like dolphins and whales in their ability to work cooperatively to take down prey. The video captured leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) feeding together on king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) in the waters off South Georgia, an island east of the southern tip of South America. The footage surprised researchers since leopard seals are often territorial, chasing each other away from food and attempting to steal meals, according to the authors of a study published recently in Polar Biology. While it may just be a case of tolerating each other around a particularly abundant food source of large king penguin, the clawless seals also could be acting cooperatively, with one holding the penguin carcass in its teeth while the other rips off a chunk.

Read more at The Conversation.

Header Image: Up to 36 seals were seen feeding at the same king penguin colony in South Georgia.
©James Robbins/University of Plymouth