Northern Elephant Seal (phocid) Mirounga angustirostris
Northern Elephant Seal
Elephant seals got their name because adult males have large noses that resemble an elephant's trunk, called a proboscis. Males begin developing their proboscis at three to four years of age (at sexual maturity), and it is fully developed by seven to nine years. The elephant seal is in the phocid, or true seal, family. It lacks external ear flaps and moves on land by galumphing. The elephant seal has a round face with very large eyes. Pups are born with a black coat which then molts at the time of weaning (28 days), turning a silver-gray.
Northern elephant seals are found in the North Pacific from Baja California, Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. During the breeding season, they live on beaches on the Channel islands and a few remote spots on the mainland. The rest of the year, except for molting periods, elephant seals live well off-shore.
It is believed that Northern Elephant Seals eat deep-water, bottom-dwelling marine animals such as ratfish, hagfish, Pacific whiting, small sharks, spiny dogfish, eels, rockfish, pelagic red crab and squid.
Diet at PMMC:
The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. The males can grow over 15-18 feet long and weigh up to 4,500 pounds
Grow to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 2,000 pounds
December to February, pups weigh about 75 - 90 pounds and are 4 feet long
Elephant seals live in the open ocean, northern elephant seals spend a lot of time diving, for up to two hours at a time. They rarely spend more than a few minutes at the surface of the water between dives. The dive record is 5240 feet for 119 minutes!
Estimated at 150,000 individuals, (up from <100 in 1907, once hunted near to the brink of extinction for their blubber)
Great white sharks, killer whales, and humans