Crabeater Seal

Sometimes animals have names that just don’t make any sense! A Purple finch isn’t purple, not all ladybugs are female, a sea cucumber isn’t an underwater vegetable, and don’t forget silverfish, which definitely aren’t fish! Well, the Crabeater seal isn’t any different.

There are lots of things a Crabeater seal could be named after; their bodies are built for speed and they are one of the fastest seals when moving on land. With around 15 million of them, Crabeater seals have the largest population of all pinniped (aquatic meat-eating mammals with fins for feet like seals, walruses, and sea lions). Their teeth are even specially designed for eating krill (not crab), which makes up about 95% of their diet. Instead of all of these cool traits, the Crabeater seal is named after crabs, a crustacean that isn’t even found in the Antarctic, where these seals live. Oh well! You know what they say…a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.

Photo Credit: Liam Quinn

Know any other animals in need of a new name? Post a comment below and tell us what you think they should be called!