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elephant seal facts

These animals are huge when compared with other pinnipeds. Males are 5 to 6 time larger than females. Sexual dimorphism is spotted on this animal because the female usually has the weight 10 times less than the male the counterpart. That’s five times heavier than a grizzly bear! Did you know that a group of elephant seals is called a colony while they're on land and a raft when they're in the water? Their trunk-like nose serves two purposes: Males use the proboscis to generate loud roars to fend off other males, and both males and females use it to re-absorb moisture during their mating fasts. They are very sociable animals and get their name from their massive size and the male’s trunk-like snout. An adult female seal is called a cow . Mothers spend about one month with their pup. The rocky areas in the shallow waters provide the weaned pups some protection from breakers while they are learning to swim. Elephants are known for their large ears, tusks made of ivory and their trunks – which are actually a fusion of their nose and upper lip. Also known as sea elephants, elephant seals (genus Mirounga) are large aquatic mammals residing in sub-Antarctic regions. Rarely. An infant seal is called a pup. The prime breeding age is between 9 and 12. One of these adaptations is that during dives the flow of blood to their skin and extremities is limited – sending blood mostly to their brain and core organs. The Friends of the Elephant Seal does not share your personal information with outside advertisers or other organizations. Elephant Seal Facts for Kids. They live off their blubber, relying on it to provide water and energy. While resting on the beach, the seals fast (don’t eat), living off their blubber. Adult females are 9 to 12 feet in length and weigh between 900 and 1800 pounds. Distribution and abundance Southern elephant seals have a circumpolar distribution and visit sub-Antarctic islands to breed (September–November) and to moult their hair and skin (January to April). Elephant Seal (genus Mirounga) is large aquatic mammal residing in sub-Antarctic regions. The maximum lifespan of male seals is 14 years; females may live to be over 20. It starts to grow when they enter puberty at about age five and, by the time they are nine, their nose is over 2 feet long. On soft sand they can move faster than most humans when they perceive a threat to themselves or their harem. You can most often see southern elephant seals along the Antarctic coastline, dozing in the sun, nursing their pups, or swimming in the waters just off shore. Northern elephant seal adult males and young adult males haul out during June to August to molt. Friends of the Elephant Seal is a cooperating association with California State Parks. Adult males are 14 to 16 feet (4 to 5 m) in length and 4,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,400 to 2,300 kg) in weight. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. Once at the Center, veterinarians found that 9-month-old Bilbo had a fractured jaw and a fractured right front flipper, in addition to the wounds on his back, shoulder and neck. There is a thick blubber layer beneath the skin to insulate the animals in cold water. Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult male (bull), which resembles an elephant’s trunk. The large males, those with the big noses that give elephant seals their names, are only on the beach in July-August to molt and in December-March for the birthing and mating seasons. For them, as for other young male mammals, this is playing rather than fighting. Elephant seals were hunted to the brink of extinction by the end of the 19th century. The sensory abilities provided by their whisker and their eyesight assist them in finding food. In addition, they practice a form of apnea; a breath-holding state. Their stomachs also often contain gastroliths. Fortunately, their numbers have since recovered. The seals do this the entire time they are at sea so they actually spend about 90% of their time at sea underwater. Piedras Blancas is the largest mainland rookery and the only one with easy access from a highway. 2. Elephant seals are large, oceangoing earless seals in the genus Mirounga. Northern elephant seal facts! Six illuminating southern elephant seal facts. Click for even more facts & download the worksheets. Elephant seal rookery in early December (left), and late January (right). The younger males, often seen sparring either on the beach or in the shallow waters offshore, are learning how to fight. that give elephant seals their names, are only on the beach in July-August to molt and in December-March for the birthing and mating seasons. There may be as few as 10 and as many as 50 females surrounding an alpha male. Please observe these guidelines – they are for the comfort and safety of you and the seals! Females tend to dive a bit deeper due to their prey source. They do this  24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Elephant seals are great at holding their breath and can remain submerged for up to two hours straight. Here's some other interesting and fun facts about southern elephant seals. Elephant seal rookery in early December (left), and late January (right). At the start of lactation, the fat content is lower and the water content higher. When these rookeries became too crowded, they began colonizing mainland beaches. As the elephant seals rebounded from near-extinction, they first re-established colonies on the islands off the shore of Baja California and California. There are no restrooms at the viewing site, so plan accordingly. Fact 16: Generally, seals can hold their breath underwater for 3 minutes, but some species can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)! During the breeding season, bulls battle each other for the right to breed with the females. 5 Elephant Seal Facts • These seals spend approximately nine months of the year in the water. The females are much smaller at about 9 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 m) in length and weigh 900 … The males use their big nose… The females look for food in the open seas while males look for food at the floor of the ocean. Largest seal is Southern elephant seal that can reach 13 feet in length and weight up to 2 tones. They don’t even breathe much of the time, to conserve both water and energy. In addition, they sometimes can be seen flipping sand under stressful conditions. While they are ashore for birthing and breeding, the females will lose 30 to 40 percent of their body mass. Large males are 14 to 16 feet in length and weigh 3,000 to 5,000 pounds. Females are a lot smaller and can weigh About Elephant Seals Seals on the sand. Here is a link to our locations. Southern elephant seal facts, pictures, information & video for kids & adults. Large body size, a large nose, and a deep booming voice can help a large male intimidate challengers and help them avoid energy-depleting fights. Before diving, they exhale. Among other creatures, killer whales, polar bears, and humans prey on seals. Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult male (bull), which resembles an elephant’s trunk. Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold more by their blubber than by fur. On occasion, a broken jaw or blinded eye may eventually lead to death, because that would impair foraging. As compare to other seals, they are much larger in size. The Piedras Blancas Rookery was populated from San Miguel Island, San Nicolas Island, and Ano Nuevo. That’s five times heavier than a grizzly bear! Southern Elephant Seal Facts for Kids The southern elephant seal is the heaviest of the seals. Weaners practice at night to learn to swim and dive in preparation for the dark of the ocean depths in which they will feed. Fortunately, their numbers have since recovered. In the open ocean, where females spend almost all their time, there is evidence that they feed on small bio-luminescent creatures such as squid and lanternfish. Adult females are almost twice the size of males. Human milk is 2 to 4% fat, cow’s milk 3 to 6%. The southern elephant seal is my favourite type of seal, so I thought that I would share what I know about them. In addition, they undergo significant physiological changes as a part of their diving reflex. . If you continue browsing, we take that to mean that you accept their use. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)! Visit the Piedras Blancas rookery! Males may focus on bottom-dwelling skates, rays, squid, octopuses, eels, small sharks and large fish. Elephant seals are shielded from cold by their blubber, much more than by … Jul 9, 2014 - Explore Hanna Shirley's board "Elephant seal" on Pinterest. Sand flipping helps them keep cool on land by acting as a sunscreen. Southern elephants are the largest of all seals. Time to mate! They become physically mature and stop growing in length at age 6. These creatures' bodies are adapted to handle deep dives. Deep Sea Divers – Elephant seals can hold their breath for up to 2 hours. Elephant seal pup Bilbo was found on a beach in San Luis Obispo with major shark bite wounds and was brought to our hospital for much-needed medical care. What prey is there in large quantity is unknown. They can cover 60 miles a day when they head out to sea. 6. Copyright © Friends of the Elephant Seal | 2020 All rights reserved. There are no trash cans. The length is measured at 4 feet. Facts The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest species of seal in the world. An Elephant seal pup weighs around 32 kg and nurses for about 26 days after birth. Northern elephant seals have a diet of mostly squid and fishes, but also rays and sharks. 1) There are three different species of elephant – the African Savannah elephant, the African Forest elephant and the Asian elephant. Elephant seals spend up to 80% of their lives in the ocean. The adult males are an exception – they are here one month in the summer and around three months in winter. Southern Elephant Seal Video You probably think that their large size is why they are called elephant seals, but their name is mostly due to their long noses that look like elephant trunks. Elephant seals differ from many other pinniped species, both in appearance and behavior. Here are five interesting facts about them: Southern elephant seals are massive animals. However, overcrowding or failure to successfully wean a pup can prompt them to move to another rookery. Females in deep water are most likely to eat lanternfish, hake and ragfish and squid to a lesser extent. There are two main types of elephant seal, the northern and southern seal. • They are excellent swimmers but move awkwardly while on land. A male elephant seal is called a bull and will mate with many female elephant seals, or cows, in one season. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. They dive for 20 minutes to over an hour, surface and breathe for 2 to 4 minutes and then dive again. The seal has a large body, short front flippers with nails, and webbed hind flippers. Elephant seals eat other aquatic creatures such as eels, rays, fish, crustaceans, squid, penguins, and other creatures. The number of seals at the rookery peaks three times during the year: in late January when most births have occurred, around the first of May at the peak of the juvenile/adult female molt, and in late October during the fall or juvenile haul-out. This is a “pack in- pack out” site. The northern elephant seal is the largest seal in the northern hemisphere and the second largest seal in the world (after the southern elephant seal). The seals may be solitary at sea, but become very social on the beach. It is. Blinded eye may eventually lead to death, because that would impair foraging are dark grey immediately after moulting fading... Southern elephant seal is southern elephant seal rookeries are on Islands, with the females % fats females will 30... Focus on bottom-dwelling skates, rays, squid, octopuses, eels, sharks. 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