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Northern Elephant Seal


Scientific Name:
Mirounga angustirostris
Length:
male: 4.0 – 5.0 m (13.2 – 16.5 ft); female: 2.5 - 3.6 m (8.2 – 11.9 ft)
Weight:
male: 2000 - 2700 kg (4400 - 5950 lbs); female: 600 - 900 kg (1320 - 1980 lbs)
Status:
good to go
Prey:
Pelagic deep water squid, Pacific hake, sharks, rays, ratfish

Physical characteristics

Has a dark grey or dark brownish-grey color with usually darker females. The feet are long and webbed. Males have a prominent, trunk-like probuscis.

Behavioral characterization

The males have a tendency to fight with their teeth and probuscis and they are very loud. They moult annually to consume energy.

Distribution

Northern California to Baja California on islands and mainland.

Population size

over 100,000

Predators

White sharks and killer whales.

Migration/Dispersal patterns

They migrate north to the gulf of Alaska during the non-breeding season and to Baja California for breeding.

Social system/Group size

They form large groups during breeding and migrate in groups with seperated sexes.

Major threats

Hunted for its rubber, entanglement in fishing gear and boat collisions.

Research efforts

They are tracked at sea to mark and map their patterns and to research their morphology.

Fun fact

They can dive down to over 1,500 metres and remain underwater for up to an extraordinary 120 minutes.