Mirounga leonina

Elephant seals are one of the tallest mammals in the world. The male elephant seal can reach 4.5 metres in length and 4000 kg in weight. The female elephant seal is much smaller (2.8 metres) and lighter (900 kg). When they are born young elephant seals only weigh 46 kg. The elephant seal owes his name to his size and to their trunk-like nose which he uses to roar. In Antarctica live about half a million elephant seals. They mostly occur on the coasts of South Georgia, the South Shetland Islands and Macquarie Island. They mostly eat squid and fish.

Every year the elephant seal bull mates with dozens of females. In September the first bearing females come ashore. The elephant seal bull is already there and gathers a harem of 20 to 30 cows. While the females give birth to their young and nurse them, the bull makes sure that no other male penetrates his harem. This is accompanied with a lot of noise. The bull makes with his trunk a loud roar to keep his competitors at distance. Sometimes this leads to heavy fights.

Elephant Seal – Photo unkown

Geographic Distribution

Elephant Seal habitat