The Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the Southern Elephant Seal). It is most common in the southern hemisphere along the coast of Antarctica and on most sub-Antarctic islands, but can also be found on the coasts of southern Australia, Tasmania, South Africa, New Zealand, Lord Howe Island, Tierra del Fuego, the Cook Islands, and the Atlantic coast of South America. It can live twenty-six years, possibly more. Orcas and large sharks are the only natural predators of leopard seals.
Along with all of the other earless seals, it belongs to the family Phocidae, and is the only species in the genus Hydrurga.