What Do Seals Eat?


Quick Answer

Seals feed mainly on fish, but shellfish, squid and octopus also feature prominently in their diet. Seals are usually opportunistic feeders and are willing to eat most meat that is available depending on the location. They're considered to be predatory carnivores, and although most seals eat a vast variety of ocean creatures, some species eat only specific prey, such as crustaceans or krill.

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Full Answer

Seals hunt alone or in groups. Their specialized bodies allow them to hunt for food in the water effectively. Their fins give them the ability to move very rapidly through the water, and seals can also dive deep into the ocean, often as deep as 3,000 feet. Seals also have whiskers that are highly sensitive to movements and vibrations, making them effective hunters during the day or night.

Hunting and feeding can be a time-consuming process because seals usually eat 5 percent of their total body weight on a daily basis. Although they have very sharp teeth, seals don't chew their food. They rip large prey into smaller chunks, but they tend to swallow small prey whole. If they have a problem swallowing a large piece of meat, seals use their powerful back molars to crush the food into manageable chunks.

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