What Antarctic predator “backlights” its prey?


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The Weddell Seal is the only seal that lives permanently in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean along the shores of Antarctica and nearby islands. They feed on cephalopods, crustaceans, and fish, most notably the Antarctic cod and Antarctic silverfish. Researchers have noticed two hunting methods the Weddell Seal uses to find fish: they will “backlight” them by swimming deep under the ice and looking up, using the light filtering through the ice to reveal the silhouette of fish. Weddell Seals are also known to blow air into the cracks of ice to scare out and feed upon the small fish hiding within the cracks.



A quick introduction to the Weddell Seal: