The females are much smaller at 10 feet (3 m) in length and 1,500 pounds (600 kg). Both are most likely to hunt pups, and seldom hunt large bull elephant seals, but have taken seals of all ages. In fact, males can be as much as 2-3 times the size of the females. Updated elephant seal project description. An empirical genetic assessment of the severity of the northern elephant seal population bottleneck, Current Biology, Volume 10, Issue 20, 14 October 2000, Pages 1287-1290 Female elephant seals can weigh up to 750 kg, which is fairly impressive, until you see one next to a 2,300 kg male – that’s a male:female size ratio of about 3:1, among the largest of all vertebrates. Only sperm whales dive deeper and longer. A 2.5 meter female was found on Sanze beach, Tsuruoka, Yamagata in October 2017, making it the first record from Sea of Japan. 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 high… [9] Since the mid-1990s some breeding has been observed at Castle Rock in Northern California and Shell Island off Oregon,[10] and in January 2009 the first elephant seal births were recorded in British Columbia at Race Rocks. These activities occur at rookeries that are located on offshore islands or remote mainland beaches. The growth of the site near San Simeon has proved even more spectacular; no animals were there prior to 1990. [32] They were thought to be extinct in 1884 until a remnant population of eight individuals was discovered on Guadalupe Island in 1892 by a Smithsonian expedition, who promptly killed several for their collections. [8] In recent decades the breeding range has extended northwards. [3] 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 higher level of sexual dimorphism in the southern species. When the males leave their rookeries, they migrate northwards to their feeding grounds along the continental shelf from Washington to the western Aleutians in Alaska. In 1976 the first pup was found on Point Reyes and a breeding colony established there in 1981. Elephant seals do not have a developed a system of echolocation in the manner of cetaceans, but their vibrissae, which are sensitive to vibrations, are assumed to play a role in search of food. This bottleneck caused a sharp loss of genetic diversity and increased homozygosity in the surviving population, and also a decreased number of haplogroups.[36]. Muscle-Wasting Disease in Elephant Seal Pups, Treatment of Canine Tooth Fractures in the Northern Elephant Seal: Three Cases, Diagnostic Tests for Lungworm-Infected Northern Elephant Seals. [37] Numbers can be adversely affected by El Niño events and the resultant weather conditions, and the 1997–98 El Niño may have caused the loss of about 80% of that year's pups. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. [21][13][22] Octopoteuthis deletron squid are a common prey item, one study found this species in the stomachs of 58% of individuals sampled off the coast of California. Males begin developing this enlarged nose, or proboscis, at sexual maturity, which is at about three to five years old. [23] A female northern elephant seal was documented in 2013 by a deep sea camera at a depth of 894 m (2,933 ft), where it consumed a Pacific hagfish, slurping it up from the ocean floor. [citation needed], U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: 2007 (NMFS-SWFSC-414), 10.1890/0012-9615(2000)070[0353:feones]2.0.co;2, "Marine Protected Species of the Mariana Islands", "Goron kinta elephant seal on the beach protected for the first time on the Japan Sea side", "Fluctuations of dolphins' abundance in northern and northeastern parts of the Black Sea according to polling data (1995–2003)", "North Sea Elephant Mirounga angustirostris Gill, 1866", "Foraging behavior and success of a mesopelagic predator in the northeast Pacific Ocean: insights from a data-rich species, the northern elephant seal", "Energy-rich mesopelagic fishes revealed as a critical prey resource for a deep-diving predator using Quantitative Fatty Acid Signature Analysis", "Male-male competition and reproductive success in elephant seals", "Impact of a population bottleneck on symmetry and genetic diversity in the northern elephant seal", Marine Mammal Center – Northern elephant seal, Voices in the Sea - Sounds of the Northern elephant Seal, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Northern_elephant_seal&oldid=997220003, Articles with disputed statements from April 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2017, Taxonbars with automatically added original combinations, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Distribution of the northern elephant seal (dark blue: breeding colonies; light blue: non-breeding individuals), This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 14:45. [8], Northern elephant seals exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism in their feeding behaviours. [2] 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). Northern elephant seals spend the vast majority of their time in the open ocean—up to 5,000 miles offshore—only coming to shore twice each year to breed and molt. The southern species has an extensive molting period in which considerable patches of hair and skin are shed. They take their name from their trunklike inflatable snouts. 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). [27] While fights are not usually to the death, they are brutal and often with significant bloodshed and injury; however, in many cases of mismatched opponents, the younger, less capable males are simply chased away, often to upland dunes. 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