9. Southern Elephant Seal – Largest Carnivore In The World
When you think of carnivore (meat eater), you probably think of Lions, Tigers and the like / not seals. Cast your eyes over the image above and you’ll appreciate the sheer size of the largest carnivore in the world that still lives today. The largest ever Southern Elephant Seal was an incredible 22 feet long and weighed over 11,000 pounds! These seals are thankfully not endangered and are well adapted to their habitat, and can be found all over the world. They still number over 700,000 so are not on the endangered list.
They have an interesting breeding strategy – the most dominant male gets to keep a harem of females, but on the downside has to constantly battle rival males to keep it.
As they approach old age and can no longer fight to preserve their dominance, they are ruthlessly killed in battle and do not have the luxury of a peaceful retirement. The typical death for a male Southern Elephant Seal is brutal, bloody and violent.
The largest population of these amazing creatures is in the Southern Atlantic, with over 400,000 sales (and nearly 115,000 breeding females). Plenty of seals here for the Alpha males to build their harem and fight other rivals to the death!