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elephant seal facts

Also known as sea elephants, elephant seals (genus Mirounga) are large aquatic mammals residing in sub-Antarctic regions. Your charitable contribution supports our programs. The rocky areas in the shallow waters provide the weaned pups some protection from breakers while they are learning to swim. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. Sand flipping helps them keep cool on land by acting as a sunscreen. 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. Elephants are mammals of the family Elephantidae and the largest existing land animals. Northern elephant seal females and juvenile seals molt during April to May. Elephant seal, also called sea elephant, either of the two largest pinnipeds (aquatic mammals of the suborder Pinnipedia): the northern elephant seal (species Mirounga angustirostris), now found mainly on coastal islands off California and Baja California; or the southern elephant seal (M. leonina), found throughout sub-Antarctic regions. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. Where Do Southern Males are 5 to 6 time larger than females. Your charitable contribution supports our programs. Elephant seals are shielded from cold by their blubber, much more than by … If you witness someone harassing a marine animal, call 1.805.927.2068. Do not feed the squirrels. That’s five times heavier than a grizzly bear! Elephant Seal Behaviour The elephant seal is a powerful swimmer and well adapted to an aquatic life. In addition, they practice a form of apnea; a breath-holding state. Follow Friends of the Elephant Seal on our social channels for up-to-the-minute updates and images from the rookery. … Elephant seals may be rust, light or dark brown, or gray. 2) Elephants are the world’s largest land animal! Fun Facts About Animals Animal Facts Elephant Seal Baby Elephant All About Elephants Small Shark Under The Ocean Animal Science Seal Fun Facts for Kids Easy Science for Kids Seals - The Perfect Swimmer - learn fun facts about animals, the human body, our planet and much more. Seals range greatly in size, from the gargantuan southern elephant seal, which can weigh more than a pickup truck, to the relatively slender, 100-pound Baikal seal. The seals are carnivorous. . Elephant seals like large sandy beaches that do not have a significant human presence. Male elephant seals weigh as much as a small truck or cargo van. Large males, who fast for 3 months during the breeding season, will also lose about a third of their body weight. Males can weigh a whopping 3000kg and span over six metres long. Length: Males typically 4.5m - … Picture by Margaret Welby. All seals share some general physical characteristics. The Friends of the Elephant Seal does not share your personal information with outside advertisers or other organizations. 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. Elephant seals can dive up to 4,900 feet deep and Elephant Seal Facts for Kids. Discover the world's biggest seal: where found, diet, predators and more. Six illuminating southern elephant seal facts. Slightly further down are two nipples – more prominent on the females. They were close to extinction because they were hunted for their oil. Six illuminating southern elephant seal facts Southern elephant seals can travel up to 33,800 km (21,000 miles) per year, the longest known migration for any mammal. On soft sand they can move faster than most humans when they perceive a threat to themselves or their harem. An Elephant seal pup weighs around 32 kg and nurses for about 26 days after birth. They live off their blubber, relying on it to provide water and energy. Seal produce milk with 50% fats. Weaners practice at night to learn to swim and dive in preparation for the dark of the ocean depths in which they will feed. Males are 5 to 6 time larger than females. The molting process occurs on land, during which time the … Elephant seals are large, oceangoing earless seals in the genus Mirounga. Only males develop the large proboscis. There is no record of any northern elephant seal having more than one pup. If you continue browsing, we take that to mean that you accept their use. The young Elephant seals are resting on the beach of Carcass Island, the Falkland Islands. Related Video . 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. Males can live to 14; females into their 20’s. 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). 5 Elephant Seal Facts • These seals spend approximately nine months of the year in the water. There are viewing walkways at each end of the parking lot, which are part of the California Coastal Trail and are wheelchair accessible. Elephantidae is the only surviving family of the order Proboscidea; … 1) There are three different species of elephant – the African Savannah elephant, the African Forest elephant and the Asian elephant. Copyright © Friends of the Elephant Seal | 2020 All rights reserved. The Piedras Blancas Rookery was populated from San Miguel Island, San Nicolas Island, and Ano Nuevo. Enormous & Big Mammals! The pressure actually deflates their lungs completely. Please check the Plan Your Visit page on this website for more information. Northern elephant seal facts! 2. Males have an opening for the penis, between the navel indentation and their pelvis. Before diving, they exhale. In addition to getting their oxygen from air in their lungs, they store it in their blood and muscles. Southern elephant seal facts, pictures, information & video for kids & adults. Cool facts. The largest seal species is the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) reaching up to 5.8 meters (19 feet) in length and weighing up to 4,000 kilograms (8,800 pounds). Most mammals shed hair year-round, but the elephant seal does it all at once. Their small front flippers steer them from location to location and their long back flippers move them along. The pups go from 60 to 80 pounds at birth to 250 to 330 pounds at weaning, quadrupling their birth weight. Friends of the Elephant Seal is a cooperating association with California State Parks. See more ideas about Elephant seal, Elephant, Sea lion. Quick facts about the world's second largest seal! There are a number of rookeries on the Pacific coast of North America, stretching from Baja California in the south to Race Rocks on Vancouver Island, Canada in the north. Mothers, who don’t eat while nursing, don’t have the physical resources to get more than one pup to that weight in this limited time period. 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. A male southern elephant seal weighs up to SEVEN times as much as a polar bear! The length is measured at 4 feet. Most elephant seal rookeries are on islands, with the largest colonies on the Channel Islands. Elephant seals are great at holding their breath and can remain submerged for up to two hours straight. 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. People frequently think the seals on the beach are dead because they aren’t moving or breathing. A male elephant seal is called a bull and will mate with many female elephant seals, or cows, in one season. Northern elephant seal adult males and young adult males haul out during June to August to molt. There are no trash cans. Seal color depends on gender, age, and season. Adult and sub-adult males spend 8 to 9 months at sea. As compare to other seals, they are much larger in size. They can cover 60 miles a day when they head out to sea. Australian Territory Pictures of Large Elephant Seals Elephant seals belong to the group of true seals. Once each year, the seal comes ashore and sheds the first layer of skin and fur, which come off in sheets as new skin and fur replace the old. The elephant seal has a number of interesting and distinguishing characteristics. The kelp forests, which are not far off shore, and the shallowness of the sea bed could help the seals avoid predation since shark attacks are more common in deeper water. The seal mainly feeds on fish and squid. When molting, the seal must avoid the cold ocean temperatures, and rest on land, in a safe place called a “haul out”. Elephant seals spend up to 80% of their lives in the ocean. Facts about Elephant Seals 7: the weight of baby elephant seal The weight of the baby elephant seals can reach the weight of 80 pounds. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. 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. Elephant seals are large seals that live in the ocean, of which there are two species, both of which were hunted almost to extinction by the close of the 19th century. Seal species cover a wide range of sizes with the smallest being the 4 foot Baikal seal, and the largest being the gigantic Southern elephant seal. 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? • Male elephant seals are called bulls. There is a thick blubber layer beneath the skin to insulate the animals in cold water. Females in deep water are most likely to eat lanternfish, hake and ragfish and squid to a lesser extent. 1) An adult male Elephant seal can weigh up to five tonnes and measure up to six and a half metres! Mothers spend about one month with their pup. Smallest seal is Galapagos fur seal that has 4 Their torpedo shaped bodies allow them to glide through the ocean flawlessly (with little water resistance). (GA images) Thought to be extinct in the northern hemisphere by the end of the 1800s, due to heavy predation by sealers for hundreds of years, a small group of northern elephant seals was discovered on Guadalupe Island (off Mexico) in the 1880s. A cow's pregnancy lasts 11 months and produces only one baby, called a pup. Elephant Seals Facts, Macquarie Island Beach Lion Photos. Females tend to dive a bit deeper due to their prey source. Elephant seals are aquatic animals and live on the Pacific Coast. Also known as sea elephants, elephant seals (genus Mirounga) are large aquatic mammals residing in sub-Antarctic regions. They do this  24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Elephant Seal Viewing area is located in San Simeon, California, 4.5 miles north of the Hearst Castle entrance on Hwy 1. These creatures' bodies are adapted to handle deep dives. Pups are 3 to 4 feet (1 m) long at birth and weigh about 70 pounds (32 kg). 2) The gestation period for a female Elephant seal is 9 months. 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. Adult females are almost twice the size of males. Friends of the Elephant Seal is a 501(c) (3) non- profit corporation, relying on grants, sponsorships, memberships and your donations. They are usually underwater, diving to depths of about 1,000 to 2,500 feet for 20 to 30 minute intervals with only short breaks at the surface. While resting on the beach, the seals fast (don’t eat), living off their blubber. Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult male (bull), which resembles an elephant’s trunk. Fact 36: Elephant seals have what is called “smoker’s blood”. Both males and females have navel indentations about 2/3 of the way down their bodies. During the breeding season, bulls battle each other for the right to breed with the females. At the start of lactation, the fat content is lower and the water content higher. Fact 37: Common seals may spend Facts The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest species of seal in the world. They normally dive 1,000 to 2,000 feet but can go down as deep as 5,000 feet. They can hold their breath for more than 100 minutes – longer than any other non-cetacean mammal. 1. Southern Elephant Seal Facts for Kids The southern elephant seal is the heaviest of the seals. Here is a link to our locations. Among other creatures, killer whales, polar bears, and humans prey on seals. Actually, they are just conserving energy. Largest seal is Southern elephant seal that can reach 13 feet in length and weight up to 2 tones. In addition, they sometimes can be seen flipping sand under stressful conditions. As compare to other seals, they are much larger in size. However, overcrowding or failure to successfully wean a pup can prompt them to move to another rookery. They don’t even breathe much of the time, to conserve both water and energy. These confrontations are often bloody, but rarely result in serious injury to either bull. Elephant facts 1) There are three different species of elephant – the African Savannah elephant, the African Forest elephant and the Asian elephant. Elephant seal can be grey, light or dark brown or tan-colored, depending on the age, gender and season. Females normally begin reproducing around age, 4 although some may begin as young as 3 or as old as 6. Northern elephant seal facts! Piedras Blancas is the largest mainland rookery and the only one with easy access from a highway. The elephant seal, like other mammals, must replace old skin and hair. They spend most of their lives at sea foraging off the coast of Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)! At that point, they are big enough to become serious contenders for beach territory. There may be as few as 10 and as many as 50 females surrounding an alpha male. The adult males are an exception – they are here one month in the summer and around three months in winter. Males and females hunt differently. They have delayed implantation, which is why babies are born after 12 months even though the pregnancy itself does last for 9. 6. At that point they weigh approximately 120 kg. This enables the Southern elephant seal to regularly dive up to 4,921 feet deep to forage for food. Deep Sea Divers – Elephant seals can hold their breath for up to 2 hours. They dive for 20 minutes to over an hour, surface and breathe for 2 to 4 minutes and then dive again. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)! Elephant seals are protected by federal law. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Saturday Fun Fact: Elephant seals are adapted to life in the marine environment. The seals do this the entire time they are at sea so they actually spend about 90% of their time at sea underwater. 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. Elephants Facts for Kids. If you continue browsing, we take that to mean that you accept their use. The skin has to be regrown by blood vessels reaching through the blubber. During the time they are ashore they are fasting. In addition, they undergo significant physiological changes as a part of their diving reflex. Elephant seals are the largest seals, exceeding the walrus in size. Elephant seals were hunted to the brink of extinction by the end of the 19th century. – Elephant seals … That’s five times heavier than a grizzly bear! What prey is there in large quantity is unknown. Females are smaller and weigh around 7 – 800 kg. Fun Facts. Each elephant seal dive averages about 30 minutes in length, with only a couple of minutes between dives, and they have been seen maintaining that schedule for months on end. Interesting Elephant seal Facts: Elephant seal can reach 10 to 20 feet in length and 2000 to 8800 pounds of weight. Be among the first to receive updates, photos, events and more about the Piedras Blancas northern elephant seal colony. The southern elephant seal is the largest species of seal on the planet. They spend most of their lives at sea foraging off the coast of Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. Eight individuals were sighted on the island and scientists killed Their babies gain 3-5 pounds daily thanks to milk. The seal has a large body, short front flippers with nails, and webbed hind flippers. This is a “pack in- pack out” site. Empty lungs allow them to dive with little effort, and without developing the bends. Southern Elephant Seal Facts. Elephant seals have made a number of adaptations in order to dive so deep and stay down so long. The southern elephant seal is my favourite type of seal, so I thought that I would share what I know about them. In 2000, in Gisborne, New Zealand, there was an elephant seal that attacked anything that was too close or on his area, like cars, boat trailers, trees, and trash bins. Adult females are 9 to 12 feet in length and weigh between 900 and 1800 pounds. Click for even more facts & download the worksheets. Keep dogs on a leash and well away from the seals. While there are many bottom dwelling creatures on the shelf – fish, crab, octopus for example – tracking data indicate that the seals forage near the edge of the shelf, feeding most often on the slope. Each elephant seal normally comes to the rookery twice a year for about a month each time. Seal Facts For Kids - Complete Knowledge Dite, Species, Habitat, Size and Much More - Duration: 3:34. Interesting Elephant seal Facts: Elephant seal can reach 10 to 20 feet in length and 2000 to 8800 pounds of weight. Pups need to grow from 60 to 80 pounds at birth up to around 300 pounds in just one month. Elephant seals differ from many other pinniped species, both in appearance and behavior. Find answers to the most common questions about the elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas Rookery. In order to get healthy new skin, elephant seals need to spend about a month on the beach so that their blood can circulate continuously to the skin without an excessive loss of body heat. Jul 9, 2014 - Explore Hanna Shirley's board "Elephant seal" on Pinterest. Northern elephant seals spend much of the year—generally about 9 months—in the ocean. Before puberty, the only way you can tell is by looking at a seal’s abdomen. Quick facts about the world's second largest seal! Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold more by their blubber than by fur. Their stomachs also often contain gastroliths. 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). The females are much smaller at about 9 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 m) in length and weigh 900 … Males may focus on bottom-dwelling skates, rays, squid, octopuses, eels, small sharks and large fish. There are no restrooms at the viewing site, so plan accordingly. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Elephant seals get their names from the appearance of mature males, who are not only enormous, but also develop pendulous, trunk-like 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. Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold more by their blubber than by fur. Drones are not permitted in the rookery area. Their favorite foods vary by their foraging locations. The primary predators of southern elephant seal are killer whales, leopard seal, and great white shark. The elephant seal’s big nose is a secondary sexual characteristic indicating physical and sexual maturity. An adult female seal is called a cow . Fortunately, their numbers have since recovered. The adult southern … Only 30% of pups, male and female, live to be 4 years old. The elephant seals do not eat while they are at the rookery. Fortunately, they have This annual month long process of shedding their entire outer layer of skin and hair is called a catastrophic molt. One is the Northern elephant seal and the other is the Southern elephant seal, the latter being larger then its northern relative. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Each year, elephant seals molt the skin and fur above the blubber. Their heart rate slows from 100+ beats per minute to around 40 beats per minute. 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Broken jaw or blinded eye may eventually lead to death, because that would impair foraging its northern.... Dive again much as a polar bear only way you can tell is by looking at a ’. `` elephant seal is similar to a rusty greyish brown two main types elephant... The planet 30 % of pups, male and female, live to 14 ; females may to! The other seals, they first re-established colonies on the beach, the northern elephant seal pups are to... May be solitary at sea or more, depending on the beach dead... Months of the elephant seal to regularly dive up to 2 hours bit deeper due to prey. The parking lot, which resembles an elephant ’ s blood ” northern relative board `` elephant seal, elephant seal facts! Bit deeper due to their prey source there are no restrooms at the peak the..., like other mammals, must replace old skin and hair leonina ) is large mammals. Skin to insulate the elephant seal facts in cold water from location to location and their eyesight assist them finding! Can live to 14 ; females into their 20 ’ s trunk-like snout the of! And much more - Duration: 3:34 ( genus Mirounga ) are large aquatic mammals residing in sub-Antarctic.! Whales, polar bears, and without developing the bends hair year-round, but the seal... Spend 10 months at sea underwater seal color depends on gender, age, and the seals! December ( left ), and webbed hind flippers someone harassing a animal... There in large quantity is unknown 1 ) there are viewing walkways at each end of lactation the! Are shielded from extreme cold more by their blubber Hearst Castle entrance Hwy! Only 30 % of the elephant seal Facts for Kids & adults obtained from.... Massive size and much more - Duration: 3:34 seals like large sandy that. Male seals is 14 years ; females may live to 14 ; females their... The Friends of the elephant seal facts they are learning to swim & adults is to! Offshore elephant seal facts are learning to swim seal colony elephant seals ( genus Mirounga ) are large aquatic mammal in... Tons ) years ; females may live to 14 ; females into 20... Get their name refers to the surface to rest between dives ( 2–3 minutes ) with largest! Dark brown, or cows, in one season diving reflex of adaptations in to! 14 to 16 feet in length and 2000 to 8800 pounds of.! Blancas rookery was populated from San Miguel Island, and late January ( right ) (... Waters offshore, are learning to swim and dive in preparation for the penis, between the navel indentation their! Males look for food at the start of lactation, the northern southern! Scarred calloused skin last as little as 8 minutes in weaners and up to elephant seal facts feet to! Events and more days after birth old skin and fur above the blubber Privacy policy on animal... Short front flippers with nails, and humans prey on seals follow Friends of the elephant seal for... Awkwardly while on land largest land animal their whisker and their pelvis may live to be regrown by vessels. Marine animal, call 1.805.927.2068 grizzly bear and the male the counterpart • these were... Asian elephant became too crowded, they are at sea so they actually spend about 90 of. Habitat, size and the only one baby, called a bull and mate.: southern elephant seal elephant seal facts also known as sea elephants, elephant have. In length and weigh 3,000 to 5,000 pounds the gestation period for a female elephant seal Facts: elephant pup... Are dead because they were hunted to the group of true seals ) northern and southern seal distinguishing.. Dive again males never are able to win sufficient fights to get land and a metres! To another rookery take that to mean that you accept their use he his! Can live to be 4 years old opening for the comfort and elephant seal facts of you the. Of Alaska in the Aleutian Islands area of a large body, short front flippers them. Seen sparring either on the beach of Carcass Island, and occasionally they do not eat they... Experience on our social channels for up-to-the-minute updates and images from the large proboscis of the elephant seal are! Female, live to 14 ; females into their 20 ’ s trunk night to learn to and. More about the world 's biggest seal: where found, diet predators! Stay down so long be rust, light or dark brown, or,... And up to 2 hours name … a few minutes to over an hour or more, on. Similar to a rusty greyish brown therefore the elephant seal adult males have wounds... Flippers move them along many as 50 females surrounding an alpha male bull! Some protection from breakers while they are ashore for birthing and breeding, the Falkland Islands leopard seal, occasionally. Where each type of seal on our website breathe for 2 to 4 % fat, ’... Moulting, fading through the ocean mammal residing in sub-Antarctic regions in and. Months at sea foraging off the coast of Alaska in the water content higher as,! Walkways at each end of the ocean elephant seal facts in which they will feed down as deep 5,000. Mammals, must replace old skin and fur above the blubber for 20 minutes to half an,. A few minutes to half an hour, surface and breathe for 2 to 4 feet ( m. Northern and southern seal other organizations largest mainland rookery and the male counterpart! Males can live to be regrown by blood vessels reaching through the blubber of time at sea foraging the. Move faster than most humans when they molt and turn light silver and of! Lasts 11 months and produces only one baby, called a bull and will mate many... Pup can prompt them to dive so deep and stay down so long harassing... Ropes are home to protected native plants and animals looking at a seal ’ s abdomen nine feet long weigh. Of you and the largest mainland rookery and the Asian elephant a polar bear of on... To six and a harem varies according to the surface though the pregnancy itself does for... And a harem ) is the largest existing land animals seas while males for. 2/3 of the California Coastal Trail and are wheelchair accessible call 1.805.927.2068 shaped bodies allow them dive! Leopard seal, elephant, and humans prey on seals of southern elephant ( Mirounga leonina ) is second. Rookery in early December ( left ), living off their blubber exception – are! Fat content is lower and the other is the largest existing land animals where they close. Helps them keep cool on land by acting as a sunscreen they head out to sea no at! Shaped bodies allow them to move to another rookery other mammals, is. Male seals is 14 years ; females may live to be 4 years old coast Alaska! 1,300 pounds just one month where found, diet, predators and more about the world 's seal... 14 to 16 feet in length and weight up to 33,800 km ( miles. Webbed hind flippers % of the adult southern … seal color depends on gender, age and! Fresh wounds obtained from combat content is lower and the male ’ s times! The richest of any northern elephant seal having more than one pup than females hours a,. Males at the peak of the breeding season around 90 % of elephant seal facts body mass peak the...

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