Another common problem with them is that they are highly susceptible to disease and viruses. Male elephant seals can be easily identified by their large proboscis, which resembles an elephant’s trunk (and is the source of their name). Then they will move into the water to hunt on their own. It belongs to the family of true (earless) seals. Elephant seal inhabits warm coastal waters … They typically aggregate in large groups while on land. Due to its large and increasing population, expanding range and lack of foreseeable threats, the northern elephant seal is classified as Least Concern. During this time, dominant males will often inflate their noses and produce a noise that sounds like a drum to warn lesser males away. The southern elephant seal is not endangered, and its conservation status is ‘Least Concern’. Studies have shown that all individuals of the current population, which has grown to over 170,000, are relatives of these few survivors. Northern Elephant Seals almost became extinct because they were being hunted for their oil-producing blubber. Several days after coming onto the beaches, the females give birth to the pups they have been carrying since last year. Sexual dimorphism is spotted on this animal because the female usually has the weight 10 times less than the male the counterpart. Studies have shown that all individuals of the current population, which has grown to over 170,000, are relatives of these few survivors. Each year, elephant seals molt the skin and fur above the blubber. The other 90% is spent in the water, diving and foraging for food, with only 11% of this time spent at the surface. Within a year, the coat will turn silvery brown. They were presumed extinct by the 1880's, after being exploited by hunters and whalers seeking to use the animals' thick layer of blubber as an oil source. Northern Elephant Seal Facts Most notably, the enormous Northern Elephant Seal represents one of only two species of elephant seal. Males of both species attain a length of approximately 6.5 metres (21 feet) and a weight of about 3,530 kg (7,780 pounds) and are much larger than the females, which grow to 3.5 metres and weigh 900 kg. This impressive pinniped relies upon the Channel Islands National Park as an important part of its life cycle. Males begin developing this enlarged nose, or proboscis, at sexual maturity (about three to five years of age) and it is fully developed by seven to nine years. During the breeding season, they live on beaches on offshore islands and a few remote spots on the mainland. Today, there are approximately 160,000 northern elephant seals. The total linear distance migrated by these animals each year has been recorded at 12,800 miles. These animals spend only 10% of their time on land, returning to reproduce and molt. Due to its unique body structure, this mammal is an excellent swimmer and diver. The average lifespan of a northern elephant seal is nine years while an elephant seal living in the Antarctic region can live from 20 to 22 years. It is surpassed only by its relative the southern elephant seal. They are shorter too at only 12 feet. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world. 3, As stated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species, the northern elephant seal has recovered from near extinction and population growth and is expected to continue over the coming decades. They nurse their one pup four the first month of life before they go in search of food for themselves. This impressive pinniped relies upon the Channel Islands National Park as an important part of its life cycle. The rest of the year, except for molting periods, elephant seals live well off shore (up to 5,000 miles, or 8,000 km), commonly descending to over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) below the ocean's surface. They love to hunt for their prey at night and they can go to the depths of the oceans in order to find what they are looking for. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) Elephant seals are found occasionally in Oregon either resting or molting (shedding their hair) on sandy beaches. As summer moves in they will molt so they have to stay on land for up to a month. Male seals can weigh up to 4.5 tons. Six illuminating southern elephant seal facts. Meet the northern elephant seal Like all true seals (phocids), the elephant seal lacks external ear flaps and crawls on land with rhythmic belly flops. They are shorter too at only 12 feet. Elephant seals belong to the group of true seals. Southern Elephant Seal Facts For Kids: Questions. Grab some … The males are very large with a weight of up to 5,000 pounds. In contrast, eared seals (otariidae), like sea lions, have visible ears and hind flippers that turn underneath their bodies for “walking.” Males and females make separate biannual foraging migrations. Since that time, elephant seals have continued to multiply exponentially, and they have extended their breeding range as far north as Point Reyes. While it remains slightly the smaller of the two, collectively the elephant seal forms the largest on earth. Eventually, it was discovered that a population of about 20 to 100 individuals had survived. Males and females make separate biannual foraging migrations. Northern elephant seals can be found in the North Pacific Ocean, in areas such as California and Alaska. Northern Elephant Seals mostly eat squid. While on land, northern elephant seals prefer sandy, rocky, or muddy coastline, particularly on offshore islands. Northern elephant seals are found in the North Pacific, from Baja California, Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. They are also wide and very dark which works to their advantage when it comes time to find their prey. At this time females will mate with one or more of the dominant males and then return to sea. These animals spend only 10% of their time on land, returning to reproduce and molt. Each winter elephant seals arrive at their breeding beaches in Mexico and California. The northern elephant seal is the largest of the “true” seal in the Northern Hemisphere. Northern elephant seal skull on display at the Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma The huge male northern elephant seal typically weighs 1,500–2,300 kg (3,300–5,100 lb) and measures 4–5 m (13–16 ft), although some males can weigh up to 3,700 kg (8,200 lb). The Portal of Life on Earth, Biodiversity, Animal Facts, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. 1, 7. Learn More. That was in the 1970’s but now there are almost 100,000 of them. Elephant seals are the only known animals capable of filling collapsed lungs. In both sexes, the body is long and robust, and the neck very thick. Fun Facts Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult male (bull), which resembles an elephant’s trunk. In elephant seal …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.Elephant seals are gregarious animals named for their size and for the male’s inflatable, trunklike snout. The pups will remain on the shore for two weeks living off of fat reserves. Southern elephant seals are massive animals. Males are the first to arrive, and they fight each other to establish dominance. They tend to eat much more as summer approaches to build up their fat reserves. In both sexes, the body is long and robust, and the neck very thick. Beaten in size only by the massive southern elephant seal. 2, Feeding Last updated: November 9, 2018. Research also shows that the majority of the pups are from the same males. It is surpassed only by its relative the southern elephant seal. The Northern Elephant Seal is smaller than those from the Southern part of the world. This small group managed to maintain a foothold in Mexico, despite the fact that by the end of the 1800's they were nearly hunted to extinction for their blubber. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. The population is renowned for its remarkable growth during the 20th century, following virtual annihilation by sealers in the 19th century. Each year the northern elephant seal migrates farther than any other mammal in the world, traveling as many as 13,000 miles (about 21,000 km). 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