Northern Elephant Seal

Northern Elephant Seal

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Credit: CRAIG K. LORENZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The nose of the male elephant seal elongates into an inflatable proboscis. This is used during reproduction when males establish territories. The territories are established by fighting both physically and vocally. By inflating the proboscis and vocalizing into it, a male can use this to threaten other nearby males. This is done as the male rears up, holding its body up with its front flippers to the maximum height, throwing its head back and vocalizing a series of deep sounds called clap-threats. Often, this threat posture and sound is enough to make all other males retreat. San Simeon, Ca.

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Keywords: animal, clap-threat, elephant seal, fauna, mammal, marine, mirounga, mirounga angustirostris, nature, northern elephant seal, pinniped, proboscis, seal, snout, territorial, wildlife

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