As the name suggests, elephant seals are huge members of the seal family that have a large trunk-like nose that somewhat resembles an elephant’s.
How much do elephant seals weigh?
Southern elephant seals are the largest seal species, followed by Northern seals.
Males grow to huge sizes, and they can weigh 8,800 pounds (3,991 kg) or more.
Females weigh about 2,000 pounds (907 kg).
They have the biggest weight difference between males and females of any animal species.
How Much Do Newborn Elephant Seals Weigh?
Elephant seal pups weigh around 75 pounds (34 kg) when they are born.
Where are elephant seals found?
Found in the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, and islands off the West coast of North America, these enormous ocean sea mammals were one endangered. But, they have made a comeback today.
Thanks to successful conservation projects they are thriving once again.
Two elephant seal species exist, which include the Northern elephant seal and the Southern elephant seal.
What do elephant seals eat?
They spend 90% of the time in the water and dive deep into the sea to hunt for food. Fish, molluscs, krill, crustaceans, squid and other sea life are usually on their menu.
Elephant seals, and pups in particular, are also on the menu of other animals.
Interesting Elephant Seal tidbits.
Killer whales, sharks and other seals are their main predators.
Elephant seals are the only seals that molt and shed their outer layer of skin.
Males frequently fight with each other. To prevent injury, they grow a protective layer of keratin on their chests, which acts as an important shield.
These seals group together in large colonies when they are on land.
However, they often travel alone when they are in the sea and when they migrate.
~ Fun Fact ~
Elephant seals are expert underwater hunters who search for food at night and are capable of diving deep below the waves. They usually dive to depths of between 1,000 and 2,500 feet. But, there have been instances where these sea mammals have gone even deeper. One Southern seal recorded diving at a depth of almost 7,000 feet!