Elephant seal: weight and what it eats

Elephant seal: weight and what it eats

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Sea Elephant, an animal that for decades was a coveted prey because of its generous and useful fat, so much so that it risked no longer inhabiting planet Earth. Nearly the danger of extinction, now it is one protected species which continues to be monitored. It is also known and loved, not by law but by a sense of respect and affection for those who share the sea and the sky with us.

Elephant seal: what it eats

Fish and cephalopods belonging to over 30 different species are present in the sea elephant menu. His favorite ingredients are squid, octopus, hagfish, chimeras and even some small sharks, he catches them in large quantities immersed for a long time and at considerable depths.

It hunts at night and never less than 200 meters below sea level, according to the estimates of experts who have been studying its behavior for years, it seems that between late spring and early winter, thesea ​​Elephant you consume quantities of food that allow him to store energy in the form of fat, to then use them when he is fasting on land. The "northern" specimens are often sharks' prey themselves, but of the large and white ones, as well as of sea killer whales.

Elephant seal: weight

It is no coincidence that elephant seals are called "elephants", it is a clear reference to their weight and large size. Also the trunk is huge, that of the males in particular, which is used when the elephant seal specimens, during the breeding competitions, emit “roars”. There is a large difference in size between males and females in this species of marine animals, the males can even reach five meters in length while the females reach three meters. The weight goes accordingly: 1800 kg for the former, 650 for the latter.

Elephant seal: characteristics

Describing an elephant seal is much more difficult than showing a photo of it, as we are doing, it is better to use words to describe a very original feature. There"Catastrophic suit" they undergo. It is a real transformation that lasts even a month: these animals "peel", they lose their fur and skin. It is more impressive to say it than to see it, and above all there is a reason: this suit is used to preserve body heat while waiting for the new hair to grow back. Meanwhile, the elephant seals are on the beach.

Southern and Northern elephant seal

We hear about the northern elephant seal more often than the southern one, however there are two varieties. The most popular (the northern) is called Mirounga angustirostris, and it is smaller on average. However, both belong to the Phocidae family, that of the “true seals”.

Elephant seal: mating

When breeding season arrives, a male elephant seal begins to worry about how to mark and above all defend its territory. This involves gods real fights which can also be violent and bloody, or just to the sound of loud roars but without physical gestures.

In the meantime, the male's goal is to create himself a kind of harem of 40-50 female specimens. When the couple is created, after 11 months the puppy will be born, usually this happens in the middle of winter. The sea elephant is usually an only child, is breastfed for a month and then weaned.

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Video: Elefante marino vs. Orcas en Argentina (August 2022).