Watch Leopard Seals Play and Hunt in Antarctica

These half-tonne predators sometimes toy with penguins, slapping them against the sea surface. Typically leopard seals hunt alone from offshore ice floes. But with sea ice appearing later and disappearing sooner, they now often congregate close to shore, where the penguin colonies are. Watch National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen dive with these dangerous, and often misunderstood, creatures.

Watch a Crabeater Seal Evade a Pod of Hungry Orcas

An amazing scene unfolded on a Lindblad expeditions ship in Grandidier Channel, Antarctica. In a synchronised attack, a pod of orcas attempt to knock a crabeater seal off the ice. The orcas moves in unison creating a wave that rocks the ice. When wave washing fails, they broke up the ice with sheer force. The orcas finally manage to destroy it completely, but the seal retreats to a different piece of ice before finally escaping once and for all.

Brain Surgery Helps a Rescued Fur Seal

January 2, 2018—A northern fur seal named Ziggy Star has undergone groundbreaking medical treatment. Ziggy arrived at Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium after rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center found her stranded in the San Francisco Bay area. MRI scans showed a brain disorder causing seizures, preventing a return to the wild. Despite treatment, symptoms worsened and fluid filled her brain. Ane Uriarte of Tufts University developed a plan for surgery. Vets had treated fluid filling into the brain—hydrocephalus—in cats and dogs. But seals had never been treated for the condition. Veterinarian Jen Flower reports Ziggy Star is now eating and swimming normally at Mystic Aquarium, where she inspires much affection.

Surprising Snow-White Animals of Your Winter Dreams

Spotting a rare, snowy white animal that would typically be colourful is a surprising treat, and stunningly beautiful. White feathers or fur can be caused by genetic conditions including albinism and leucism. Albinism is a genetic mutation in which the body cannot produce melanin pigments. Leucism is another genetic peculiarity that causes white coloration, but the animal may have some pigments, such as giving them blue eyes or colour patterning. Sometimes the white colour can make animals more vulnerable to predators since they stand out. However, the coloration can also help them blend in. Albino and leucistic animals can also be dangerously susceptible to sunburn. Owners of pets with albinism and leucism can make accommodations to protect their companions.

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Newsletter
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2016 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved