View our guide on how to watch marine animals from shore. Adult males may grow to over 13 feet (4 m) in length and weigh up to 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg). This hunk of chonk, the size and shape of Jabba the Hutt, is a male northern elephant seal. To prevent injury, they grow a protective layer of keratin on their chests, which acts as an important shield. Elephant seals feed on fish and on squid or other cephalopods. Sexual dimorphism in size is great: The much larger male northern elephant seal typically weighs 1,500–2,300 kg (3,300–5,100 lbs) and measures 4–5 m (13.2–16.5 ft), although some males can weigh up to 3,700 kg (8,152 lbs). One Southern seal recorded diving at a depth of almost 7,000 feet! Both sexes have black whiskers and V-shaped hind flippers. These seals may weigh about the same as a small SUV, but can look a lot like driftwood on the beach at first glance. Northern Elephant Seal – Mirounga angustirostris Description. 1,300-2,000 (590kg- 907kg) The Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) were both hunted nearly to extinction by the end of the nineteenth […] In Washington, adult females can be in their feeding areas of Washington and Oregon, during their time between spring/summer molting and winter breeding season. Follow Washington State Ferries for guidance about ferry travel. For northern elephant seals, the situation is similar, but less extreme. The northern elephant seal is yellowish or gray-brown, and the southern is blue-gray. Get involved! The Elephant seals nose is used in producing extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season. Elephant seals are expert underwater hunters who search for food at night and are capable of diving deep below the waves. It is estimated that the adult male northern elephant seal can weigh up to 5,000 pounds. But, there have been instances where these sea mammals have gone even deeper. Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina and Mirounga angustirostris) There are two species of elephant seal. Share your inspiring story below or tag #thewhaletrail. Found in the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, and islands off the West coast of North America, these enormous ocean sea mammals were one endangered. Southern elephant seals are able to dive to over 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) and remain underwater for as long as two hours. Adult males are 14 to 16 feet (4 to 5 m) in length and 4,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,400 to 2,300 kg) in weight. Northern & Southern elephant seal. Fish, molluscs, krill, crustaceans, squid and other sea life are usually on their menu. The other species, the southern elephant seal, lives in the Southern Hemispheres and is found in islands like Macquarie Island. ; Females: 990–1,300 lb. Adult males may grow to 14-16 feet (4-5 m) in length and weigh up to 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). The biggest on record was nearly 11,000 pounds in weight. Largest seal in the northern hemisphere. Females are significantly smaller than males, but are still grow to about 10 feet long and weigh up to 1,300 pounds. The adult male, “the elephant of the sea,” has a large flexible snout that looks like an elephant’s trunk. Males frequently fight with each other. (Photo by Mark Sears, NOAA Permit 21348), It’s not too late to join our writing contest an, Has anyone seen the Orcas recently? NOAA Fisheries - Northern Elephant SealNOAA Fisheries West Coast - Northern Elephant Seal. The females are much smaller at about 9 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 m) in length and weigh 900 to 1,800 pounds (400 to 800 kg). Stats: Weight: 880 - 5,100 lbs (0.40 - 2.31 tons) Length: 8.2 - 16 ft (2.5 - 5 m) Diet: Deeper dwelling mid-water fish and squid; Status: Lower risk; Distribution: Northern Elephant Seal Range Species Fact: 4 feet (1.25 m), Weight AND ONE NEARLY WENT EXTINCT. In this species, males max out at around 13 feet long and 4500 pounds , … (Photo by Mark Sears, NOAA Permit 21348) Note: while COVID-19 Restrictions are in place, please visit Whale Trail sites close to home that don't require a ferry ride. Males grow to huge sizes, and they can weigh 8,800 pounds (3,991 kg) or more. Northern elephant seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and are not considered endangered or threatened. Males have an enlarged proboscis or ‘trunk’, hence the name elephant seal. Size of a southern male elephant seal is about 6 meters (20 feet) long, and weight up to 6000 kilograms (8,800 pounds). The Northern Elephant Seal is smaller than those from the Southern part of the world. Adult males may grow to over 13 feet (4 m) in length and weigh up to 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg). They usually dive to depths of between 1,000 and 2,500 feet. Pups are born black and will molt into a silver coat after 4-6 weeks, once they are weened. Adult Northern elephant seals are light brown to black in color. But, there have been instances where these sea mammals have gone even deeper. They lack external ear flaps and have smaller fore flippers than other pinnipeds. The Northern Elephant Seal is smaller than those from the Southern part of the world. Color, Good news for Orcas! Elephant seals, and pups in particular, are also on the menu of other animals. Scientific Name Therefore the Elephant seal is … The gestation period is around 11 months. As the name suggests, elephant seals are huge members of the seal family that have a large trunk-like nose that somewhat resembles an elephant’s. The huge male northern elephant seal typically weighs 1,500–2,300 kg (3,300–5,100 lb) and measures 4–5 m (13–16 ft), although some males can weigh up to 3,700 kg (8,200 lb). Species: angustirostris largest pinniped outside Southern elephant seal (Ling & Bryden, 1981). The northern elephant seal lives up to nine years, and the southern elephant seal lives between twenty to twenty-two years. Fun Facts for Kids. A key physical characters is the male’s elongated snout, called a proboscis. The female, on the other hand, weighs about a third of the male, which is a dramatic example of sexual dimorphism, or physical size difference between the sexes of a species. As you explore the beaches, please be aware of your surroundings to ensure a safe distance between you and any resting elephant seals. September-November is a good time to see them from shore. On average, the southern elephant seal tends to be larger than the northern species. Breeding primarily occurs on offshore islands of California and Mexico, such as the Channel Islands, and at rookeries on the central California coast. They are the sole members of the genus ‘Mirounga’ of the family ‘Phocidae’ or ‘true seals’. Fill out our nomination form for that amazing site. Most elephant seals will return to natal rookeries when they reach sexual maturity. With development of affordable satellite-based tracking systems, t… Males begin developing this enlarged nose, or proboscis, at sexual maturity (about three to five years), and it is fully developed by seven to nine years. Please do not attempt to approach what looks like an animal in distress. The population estimate for the California stock of Northern elephant seals is around 180,000. When northern elephant seals come on shore to breed, the females will fast while mating and suckling their pups. The adult male, “the elephant of the sea,” has a large flexible snout that looks like an elephant’s trunk. Northern elephant seals spend most of the year, about 9 months, in the ocean and can only be seen on land during pupping season. Northern elephant seals are the largest of the “true”, or “earless”, seals in all of the Northern Hemisphere. The northern and southern elephant seal can be distinguished by various external features. Molting takes 4-5 weeks. Thanks to successful conservation projects they are thriving once again. 12-16 feet (3.6-3.9 m). When northern elephant seals come on shore to breed, the females will fast while mating and suckling their pups. During this time, they survive only off of stored blubber (fat) and won't eat for up to five weeks. Females are much smaller and can range from 400 to 900 kg (880 to 1,980 lb) in weight, or roughly a third of the male's bulk, and measure from 2.5 to 3.6 m (8.2 to 11.8 ft). Mating occurs from December to March and pups are born in early winter, from December to January. In case you’re curious, the walrus is a close third behind the northern elephant seal when it comes to size. The largest colonies are found off southern California and the Channel Islands. The largest known bull elephant seal was 6.7 metres in length and weighed 3400 kilograms (about four tons). These mam­mals are among the largest of the group com­pris­ing aquatic car­ni­vores in the North­ern Hemi­sphere. During this time, they look to be in bad shape, however it is normal. Look for groups of molting males at northern California sites like McKerrecher State Park. In case you’re curious, the walrus is a close third behind the northern elephant seal when it comes to size. April through August, elephant seals return to beaches to shed their skin, or molt. Males can be over 20 feet long and weigh up to 8,800 pounds. After being weaned at 4 weeks of age, pups fast completely while learning to swim and dive before going to sea in search of food. What do they do when they are away? Northern elephant seals face threats such as entanglement in fishing gear, vessel strikes, marine debris, and disturbance while on shore. https://wp.me/p6PjLG3CV #welcometheorcas #givethemspace, Watching southern resident orcas from Point Robinson, Vashon Island, 2018. During this time, they survive only off of stored blubber (fat) and won't eat for up to five weeks. Northern elephant seals have a diet of mostly squid and fishes, but also rays and sharks. Adult females will return to California or Mexico, and go ashore between March and August to molt. They are very large and the males have what is similar to an elephant’s trunk on their face yet it is very short. Learn More. ~ Fun Fact ~Elephant seals are expert underwater hunters who search for food at night and are capable of diving deep below the waves. Weight 4,400 pounds (1996 kg) Length 12-16 feet (3.6-3.9 m) Northern elephant seals are the largest of the “true”, or “earless”, seals in all of the Northern Hemisphere. Northern elephant seals’ habitat runs all the way from the Pacific Coast of three states; Canada, the US, and Mexico. Northern elephant seals range from Alaska, down the west coast to Mexico. Weight 1,300-2,000 (590kg- 907kg) Length 7-12 feet (2.1-3.6 m) ADULT MALE FACTS. Northern elephant seals are preyed on by great white sharks, a significant cause of mortality in juvenile seals, and sometimes also by killer whales. Look for elephant seal rookeries on the central California coast at Pigeon Point Lighthouse near San Simeon and Ano Nuevo State Beach, north of Santa Cruz. ... See MoreSee Less, Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linked InShare by Email, Good news for Orcas! The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Watching southern resident orcas from Point Robinson, Vashon Island, 2018. Males of both species attain a length of approximately 6.5 metres (21 feet) and a weight of about 3,530 kg (7,780 pounds) and are much larger than the females, which grow to 3.5 metres and weigh 900 kg. Their bodies seem to be designed more for spending 8-10 months a year in the open ocean than on land. But, they have made a comeback today. Mature males are easily spotted by their large noses that resemble elephant trunks. 7 Today, there are approximately 160,000 northern elephant seals. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Northern Elephant Seal Southern elephant seals are the largest seal species, followed by Northern seals. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. The elephant seal is in the phocid, or true seal, family. Northern elephant seals feed mainly on squid and fishes, however, their diet also consists of rays and sharks. Males of both species attain a length of approximately 6.5 metres (21 feet) and a weight of about 3,530 kg (7,780 pounds) and are much larger than the females, which grow to 3.5 metres and weigh 900 kg. WDFW sets new rules for comme, NOAA Fisheries West Coast - Northern Elephant Seal. Length But these massive pinnipeds aren't called elephant seals because of their size. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. In Washington, it is rare to see them ashore. Elephant seals come ashore in the winter to mate and give birth. (GA image) Female northern elephant seals can be over ten feet long, weigh over 1,300 pounds, and live over 20 years whereas southern elephant seal females may be over ten feet long, weight over 2,000 pounds, and be over 23 years. The southern species has an extensive molting period in which considerable patches of hair and skin are shed. Did You Know? Males feed in the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska, while females travel further to offshore waters of Washington and Oregon. The elephant seal is in the phocid, or true seal, family. Northern elephant seals will molt their fur and shed the short dense fur and patches of old skin. The biggest on record was nearly 11,000 pounds in weight. Did You Know? Female’s snouts grow just beyond the mouth and have smoother necks. Northern elephant seals are found along North America’s Pacific coast, with a range that stretches as far north as Alaska and as far south as Mexico. With over a 13,000 mile roundtrip migrations, they have one of the longest migrations of any animals. The females are much smaller when it comes to weight with only about 2,000 pounds. Southern elephant seals are the largest seal species, followed by Northern seals. Killer whales, sharks and other seals are their main predators. Fe­males reach a length of 3.1 m … Two elephant seal species exist, which include the Northern elephant seal and the Southern elephant seal. Point Robinson is adjacent to the narrowest part of Puget Sound, and the whales sometimes come spectacularly close to shore. Pups increase their birthweight by a factor of 3-7 times on mother's milk alone. The female will breed again before her pup leaves and she returns to the ocean. These seals r… Northern elephant seals only take short breaks at the surface which is when they are likely to be seen from shore. One Southern seal recorded diving at a depth of almost 7,000 feet! When they haul out for molting season they will stay there for a few weeks. Once males reach puberty at 7 years old they grow a large nose, as well as thick and robust necks that are lighter in color compared to their darker bodies. Females will come ashore only a few days before giving birth to her pup. Female northern elephant seal. On average, the biggest Southern elephant seals weigh over 8,000 pounds. The females are much smaller at 10 feet (3 m) in length and 1,500 pounds (600 kg). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_seal, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/elephant-seals/, http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/education/marine-mammal-information/pinnipeds/northern-elephant-seal/?print=t. 75 pounds (35 kg) Adult female elephant seals are approximately 9 feet in length and weigh about 900 pounds. Northern elephant seals are polygamous breeders, meaning during the mating season males establish a dominance over a large group of females. With the recovery of the northern elephant seal population, increasing numbers of elephant seals congregate on local beaches where visitors see them give birth, mate, molt and snooze. They can also reach up to 14 feet in length. Females weigh about 2,000 pounds (907 kg). The northern elephant seal lives up to nine years, and the southern elephant seal lives between twenty to twenty-two years. Fully grown males can reach lengths of over 13 feet and can weigh nearly 4,400 pounds. The population began to increase in the 1900s. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. A few of the animals are found in Chile. Elephant seals are the only seals that molt and shed their outer layer of skin. Length Humans aren't the only ones that are attracted to the California coastline, Northern Elephant Seals migrate thousands of miles to these beaches twice a year to breed, give birth, molt and rest. In both sexes, the body is long and robust, and the neck very thick. Northern Elephant Seal The females are much smaller at 9-12 feet (2.5-4 m) in length and 900-1,800 pounds (400-800 kg). Join us this month as we Welcome the Orcas. Race Rocks, along with the Pacific Coast, is the northernmost breeding ground. Females weigh about 2,000 pounds (907 kg). In 1978, 872 were born there. When foraging, the dive depth of the Northern elephant seal averages 500 to 600 m (1,640 - 1,970 ft), but it is able to dive to as much as 1,500 m (4,920 ft) and stay under water for over 1 hour. However, they often travel alone when they are in the sea and when they migrate. But they spend most of the time, 8 to 10 months of the year, elsewhere. Average weight: Males: 3,300–4,400 lb. Can you spot the Northern Elephant Seals in these photos? The bull southern elephant seals are, on average, larger than those in the northern species, but the females in both are around the same size, indicating the even hig… Male elephant seals reach 16 feet in length and weigh up to 4,000 pounds. The males are very large with a weight … Northern elephant seal bulls reach a length of 4.3 to 4.8 m (14 to 16 ft) and the heaviest weigh about 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Slaughtered en masse for their oil-producing blubber, the … On average, the biggest Southern elephant seals weigh over 8,000 pounds. 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