Southern elephant seal

Southern elephant seal

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Caption: Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) diving. This female lacks the trunk-like proboscis found in the male which gives the seal its name. The southern elephant seal spends 10 months of the year diving to forage for fish and cephalopods (such as squid). It typically dives to 300-600 metres for about 20 minutes, spending 90% of its time submerged. Males can reach up to 6.2 metres in length, and can weigh up to 4 tonnes, although females are significantly smaller. During the breeding season, males compete on crowded breeding beaches to control large harems of females. Photographed at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, cow, diving, female, mammal, marine, mirounga leonina, nature, oceanic, pinnipeds, protected, sea, signy island, south orkney islands, southern elephant seal, sub-antarctic, subantarctic, submerged, threatened, underwater, water, wildlife, zoology

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