Dec 26, 2008

Elephant Seal-Tipping

Are these two bull elephant seals having a brawl? Or a male and female (much more likely)? Maybe they're trying to decide who will be left with the Christmas leftovers?

Regardless, you've got to admire the elephant seal. I'm not sure if this pair is of the northern or southern variety, but either way you slice it, they have some very notable qualities. The bulls are equipped with the trademark trunk, which not only allows them to make amazing roaring noises, but also functions as a rebreather by absorbing moisture from the seal's exhalations to conserve body moisture.

Photo source:

They are massive. On average, a bull comes in at around 16 feet long and weighs 6,000 lbs. But the largest on record is a bull that weighed 11,000 lbs and measured in at 22.5 feet. They are the largest member of the order Carnivora.

They are amazing swimmers. They can hold their breath for up to 80 minutes, and have been known to dive a mile under water. No other non-cetacean mammal can beat that. Oh, but that's not all. They aren't too shabby on land. When crossing sand dunes they can out ambulate a human. No elephant seal-tipping here, people.


Christie Lynn said...

I just like the idea of "elephant seal-tipping". It sounds like fun!

Neil said...

looks like two sub-adult males gearing up for a lifetime of brawling. I'm not sure if they are M. leonina or M. angustirostris.

Raging Wombat said...

Rowdy teenage boys, eh?