The outcome is rarely fatal, and the defeated bull will flee; however, bulls can suffer severe tears and cuts. When at the subantarctic or Antarctic coasts, the seals forage largely on deep-sea cephalopod species such as Psychroteuthis glacialis, Alluroteuthis antarcticus, Histeoteuthis eltaninae, Onykia ingens, Gonatus antarcticus. The park's task is to balance the expansion of the elephant seal colony while providing for the health of other species. To complete both round-trips, females journey over 11,000 miles, males 13,000 miles. Southern elephant seals can dive from 400 to 1,000 meters (1,300 to 3,300 feet) for up to 20 minutes at time. What allows such deep diving? In 2004, the Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center produced a DVD entitled "Science Behind the Scenery." They spend most of their time at sea, and usually only come to land to give birth, breed, and molt. Natural History. Colonies once existed in Tasmania, Saint Helena, and the Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile. Donate - Give to and help raise money for agencies and nonprofit groups that protect habitat. Females reach 9 feet and 1,600 pounds. Vagrant juveniles have been sighted as far away as Hawaii and Japan. As part of these projects, satellite-relay data loggers were attached to southern elephant seals to collect physical and biological data. Pups are born with fur and are completely black. They dive repeatedly, each time for more than 20 minutes, to hunt their prey—squid and fish—at depths of 400 to 1,000 m (1,300 to 3,300 ft). Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details, Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center, Science Behind the Scenery: Northern Elephant Seals, San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network, Harbor Seals and Northern Elephant Seals: Indicators of Marine Ecosystem Condition. elephant seals can dive a mile or more below the waves. One Southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, somehow swam to Indiana around 1000 years ago. But researchers have recorded much deeper dive depths of 5,015 feet (1,529 m). On average female southern elephant seals weigh 400 to 900 kg (880 to 1,980 lb) and measure 2.6 to 3 m (8.5 to 9.8 ft) long, whereas bulls can range from 2,200 to 4,000 kg (4,900 to 8,800 lb) and grow to 4.2 to 5.8 m (14 to 19 ft) in length. After their near extinction due to hunting in the 19th century, the total population was estimated at between 664,000 and 740,000 animals in 2005, but as of 2002, two of the three major populations were declining. The southern elephant seal, is found in Antarctic waters, while the northern elephant seal lives on islands of California and Mexico. , Elephant seals are among the seals that can stay on land for the longest periods of time, as they can stay dry for several consecutive weeks each year. Large gatherings of the seals — including adult males that can weigh up to 4,400 pounds and reach 19 feet in length — are typically found along the Pacific coast in areas called rookeries. Since that time, elephant seals have continued to multiply exponentially, and they have extended their breeding range as far north as Point Reyes. Throughout this period, the female fasts. Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) have hunted elephant seals near Campbell Island, while bite marks from a southern sleeper shark (Somniosus antarcticus) have been found on surviving elephant seals in the Macquarie Islands.. IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the high volume of traffic out to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas during the elephant seal pupping and mating season, the park will be operating a shuttle bus system from the Drakes Beach parking lot (usually from New Year's to Easter each year on weekends and holidays—weather permitting). The Elephant Seal Overlook near Chimney Rock is a great place for viewing elephant seals and discovering for yourself the secrets of these wild wonders of the deep! Between 1988 and 1993, the population grew at a dramatic annual average rate of 32%. To stay underwater so long, southern elephant seals … Martialia hyadesi and other molluscs, various fish species, including lanternfish (i.e. The process of catastrophic molting causes increased blood flow the surface of the skin to help quickly supply nutrients to the new fur. One of the most famous southern elephant seals was Minazo, who lived in Japan's Enoshima Aquarium from when he was a half-year old until his death in 2005 at age 11. An elephant seal dives deep and long to find food and avoid white sharks, a major predator.  The well-being of southern elephant seals therefore mirrors that of the whole Antarctic ecosystem. Behavior: The elephant seal is a powerful swimmer and well adapted to an aquatic life. In 1922, the Mexican government banned hunting, followed shortly thereafter by the United States government. See and hear key differences between these marine mammals, and characteristics that make each unique. Northern elephant seals are found in the North Pacific, from Baja California, Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. However, by 1860, an intensive sealing industry had already eliminated the species from most of its range and it was scarce everywhere (Doughty 1971; Townsend 1885). Orcas vs.  John Edward Gray established the genus Mirounga in 1827. When foraging for food, Southern elephant seals travel between 40 degrees latitude south and the continent of Antarctica. Elephant Seals :: MarineBio Video Library Southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina (Linnaeus, 1758), are named for their elephant trunk-like noses. Cat-Naps '' when they arrive in many regards, they gather to breed in subantarctic.. 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