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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)




Northern Elephant Seal | Mirounga angustirostris photo
Sleeping male Northern Elephant Seal, San Simeon, California.

Photograph by Cybele May. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern Elephant Seal | Mirounga angustirostris photo
Male Northern Elephant Seal, San Simeon, California.

Photograph by Cybele May. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern Elephant Seal | Mirounga angustirostris photo
Female Northern Elephant Seal coming onto the beach, San Simeon, California.

Photograph by Cybele May. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL FACTS

Description
Northern Elephant Seals are usually brown with lighter underside. The males are dark brown and females are lighter brown or tan. Pups have black hair until their first molt when they grow a lighter coat. The male has a proboscis like a small trunk on his face.

Size
Northern Elephant Seal males are much larger than females. Males are about 1800kg, females are about 650kg. Length: males 3.6 - 4.2m; females 2.2 - 3m.

Environment
Spent 90% of their time in the ocean. On land they inhabit sandy, rocky or muddy shores

Food
octopus, squid, small sharks, skates and fish.

Breeding
One pup (sometimes twins) is born after a gestation of 11 months. The pup is weaned after 25 days.

Range
coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of Alaska down to Baja California

Notes
Elephant Seals can dive to a depth of 1,500m and stay under water for over an hour. Dives are more commonly up to 20-25 minutes at depths up to 350-650m.

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Phocidae
Genus:Mirounga
Species:angustirostris
Common Name:Northern Elephant Seal