The crabeater seal is a true seal with a circumpolar distribution around the coast of Antarctica.
They are medium- to large-sized (over 2 m in length), relatively slender and pale-colored, found primarily on the free-floating pack ice that extends seasonally out from the Antarctic coast, which they use as a platform for resting, mating, social aggregation and accessing their prey. The success of this species is due to its specialized predation on the abundant Antarctic krill of the Southern Ocean, for which it has uniquely adapted, sieve-like tooth structure.
Despite its name, crabeater seals do not eat crabs. As well as being an important krill predator, the crabeater seal is an important component of the diet of leopard seals, which consume about 80% of all crabeater pups. The crabeater seal is the official seal of Westarctica, and a favored animal of Grand Duke Travis.