northern elephant seal size

Northern elephant seals spend the vast majority of their time in the open ocean—up to 5,000 miles offshore—only coming to shore twice each year to breed and molt. It is a member of the family Phocidae (true seals). [20][12] Northern elephant seals eat a variety of prey, including mesopelagic fish such as myctophids, deep-water squid, Pacific hake, pelagic crustaceans, relatively small sharks, rays, and ratfish. Since the early 20th century, they have been protected by law in both Mexico and in the United States. The smaller seal is an adult female and the much larger one with the trunk-like nose is an adult male. [27] Dominant bulls will disrupt copulations of lower-ranking bulls. Pups are mostly black at birth and molt to a silver gray after weaning. The width of the eyes and a high concentration of low-light pigments suggest sight plays an important role in the capture of prey. The southern species has an extensive molting period in which considerable patches of hair and skin are shed. Elephant seals got their name because adult males have large noses that resemble an elephant's trunk. In fact, males can be as much as 2-3 times the size of the females. [3] The bull southern elephant seals are, on average, larger than those in the northern species, but the females in both are around the same size, indicating the even higher level of sexual dimorphism in the southern species. This individual was severely weakened but showing signs of recovery after receiving medications at Kamo Aquarium, and the aquarium is discussing whether or not to release her. At around half the size and weight of their southern counterparts male northern elephant seals usually grow to around 5,070 pounds (2,300 kg). Elephant Seals can be dangerous and are best observed from afar. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is one of two species of elephant seals.It is the largest member of the clade Pinnipedia and the order Carnivora, as well as the largest extant marine mammal that is not a cetacean.It gets its name from its massive size and the large proboscis of the adult male, which is used to produce very loud roars, especially during the breeding season. Newborn elephant seals weigh about 75 pounds and are about 4 feet in length. [32] They were thought to be extinct in 1884 until a remnant population of eight individuals was discovered on Guadalupe Island in 1892 by a Smithsonian expedition, who promptly killed several for their collections. Sexual dimorphism in size is great. Subsequently, the U.S. protection was strengthened after passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and numbers have now recovered to over 100,000. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world after the southern elephant seal. They are rarely seen out at sea … This is known as a catastrophic molt. Their breeding was probably restricted to islands, before large carnivores were exterminated or prevented from reaching the side of the ocean. [27][28], After the males have arrived to the beach, the females arrive to give birth. A big bull elephant seal. [17] [30] While most females nurse their own pups and reject nursings from alien pups, some do accept alien pups with their own. Elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male's large proboscis, which is used in making extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating competition. Adult males may grow to over 13 feet in length and weigh up to 4,500 pounds. But these massive pinnipeds aren't called elephant seals because of their size. [26] The bulls engage in fights of supremacy to determine which few bulls will achieve a harem. Males unable to establish harems will wait on the periphery, and will try to mount nearby females. [5] [12], Vagrant elephant seals possibly appear on tropical regions such as at Mariana Islands. [21][13][22] Octopoteuthis deletron squid are a common prey item, one study found this species in the stomachs of 58% of individuals sampled off the coast of California. A 2.5 meter female was found on Sanze beach, Tsuruoka, Yamagata in October 2017, making it the first record from Sea of Japan. Thus, their first long journey at sea begins. Firstly, the truly enormous Northern Elephant Seal displays a significant degree of sexual dimorphism. [12] Elephant seals are prey for orcas and great white sharks. 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. The northern elephant seal is yellowish or gray-brown, and the southern is blue-gray. [11] The California breeding population is now demographically isolated from the population in Baja California. Northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris. [25], Northern elephant seals return to their terrestrial breeding ground in December and January, with the bulls arriving first. [6], The northern elephant seal lives in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Original file ‎ (3,888 × 2,592 pixels, file size: 4.79 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg ) The females are much smaller at 10 feet (3 m) in length and 1,500 pounds (600 kg). The females are much smaller at 10 feet in length and 1,300 pounds. This fluid-filled structure is initially expanded due to the rush of RBC from the spleen and slowly releases the red blood cells into the circulatory system via a muscular vena caval sphincter found on the cranial aspect of the diaphragm. Presently, the northern elephant seal is protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and has a fully protected status under California law (California Fish and Game Code [FGC] § 4700). Their proboscis is fully developed once the seal reaches around 7 to 9 years old. Northern elephant seal. Several days after coming onto the beaches, the females give birth to the pups they have been carrying since the previous year. Their water from food and metabolism of fats the marine Mammal northern elephant seal size advances global ocean conservation rescue... And light brown while molting hair but also the top layer of their skin to approximately the size the! Regions such as the hindlimbs their hair but also the top layer of their.... The body is long and robust, and have a normal-sized nose veterinarians performed a partial flipper bone on. Saw them in person for 12 more weeks onto the beaches, typically on islands or remote beaches. 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