Knowledge of predation of M. leonina is limited due to their deep ocean habitat. Known predators include large sharks, specifically Carcharodon carcharias, and Orcinus orca. Hydrurga leptonyx are also known to prey on pups. In order to avoid predation, southern elephant seals have dark dorsal surfaces with lighter undersides. This allows some camouflage by blending in with the lighter water when viewed from below and the darker water when seen from above. ("Elephant Seals", 1983; Gaskin, 1972; Seal Conservation Society, 2001)
- Gaskin, D. 1972. Whales Dolphins and Seals. London: heinemann Educational Books.