Elephant seals are a large member of the seal family. They have large size trunk-like nose that resembles an elephant. Their scientific name is Mirounga and their group name is Colony. There are mainly two types of elephant seal species available, the northern seals and the southern seals.
Northern elephant seals are smaller in size than southern seals and can be found on the pacific coast of the USA, Canada, Mexico. Southern elephant seals are mainly found in South Georgia, Macquarie Island, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina etc.
Elephant seals migrate for months at sea in search of food. They often do diving deep to forage. Although both male and female elephant seals spend time in the sea. Their migration path or routes and feeding style differ from each other.
Male elephant seals love to follow the consistent route and female elephant love to follow different types of rout which depends on moving prey.
So, How Much Do Elephant Seals Weigh?
Adult northern elephant seals may weigh up to 5000 pounds or 2300 kg with 14 to 15 feet in length and female seals can weigh around 900 to 1800 pounds or 400 to 800 kg with 9 to 12 feet or 2.5 to 4 m in length. Female seals are smaller than male seals.
Female southern elephant seals can weigh around 880 to 1980 pounds or 400 to 900 kg and 2.6 to 3 m or 8.5 to 9.8 feet in length. Male southern seals can weigh 4900 to 8800 pounds or 2200 to 4000 kg and can grow 4.2 to 5.8 m or 14 to 19 feet long.
A newborn elephant seal can weigh around 75 pounds and 4 feet in length.
Where Are Elephant Seals Found?
Northern elephant seals are mainly found in the eastern and central north pacific oceans. They breed and give birth in different places in California and Mexico from December to March. They spend more than 9 months of the year in the ocean.
Southern elephant seals are found in mainly subantarctic and antarctic waters which are brutally cold. They breed and give birth to land but spend their time in the Antarctic pack ice.
What Do Elephant Seals Eat?
Northern elephant seals eat different types of squid, fishes and rays and sharks. They fast during the mating season and can lose up to 36 percent of their body weight.
Southern elephant seals eat exclusively at sea. Their main food sources are fish and squid. They can capture prey both on the surface and deep underwater. They are known for eating fish from the ocean’s darkest deep. Southern elephant seals eat all kinds of large size preys including tuna, rays, sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, birds etc.
Why Do Elephant Seals Have Big Noses?
Elephant seals are named for their noses that look like elephant trunks. They use it for two purposes. One is male and female seals use it to re-absorb moisture during their mating fasts and another one is males use it to roar to scare other males away.
How Long Do Elephant Seals Live?
Lifespan of male and female elephant seals has differences. Male elephant seals live only around 13 years whereas females generally live about 19 years. On average a northern elephant seal can live 9 years or more and a southern elephant seal can live 21 years or more.
What Animal Eats Elephant Seals?
Killer whales, large great white sharks and leopard seals are the predators of different northern and southern elephant seals.
How Long Do Elephant Seals Carry Their Babies?
Babies of elephant seals are usually born in early winter from December to January. Mothers carry their babies around 11 months.
>>A male elephant seal can weigh to a small truck.
>> They can hold breath for more than 100 minutes.
>>A elephant seal can go dive more than one mile deeper in search of food.
>>They spend most of their time underwater and live around two months on the land in a year.
>>Rivals elephant seals can recognize each other’s voices!