Southern elephant seal

Southern elephant seal

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Credit: DOUG ALLAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) male (bull). Only the bull has the trunk-like proboscis which gives this huge seal its name. Males can reach up to 6.2 metres in length, and weigh up to 4 tonnes, while the biggest females are half this size. Males compete to control large harems of females, with only the largest 2-3% of males getting the chance to breed. The southern elephant seal feeds on cephalopods (such as squid) and fish. It was hunted for its blubber, which was used as a source of oil, until 1964. Photographed on South Georgia Island.

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Keywords: adult, animal, aquatic, bellowing, bull, carnivore, carnivorous, fish-eater, fish-eating, gaping, male, mammal, marine, mirounga leonina, mouth, nature, oceanic, pinniped, piscivore, piscivorous, proboscis, protected, roaring, sea, seals, signy island, south orkney islands, southern elephant seal, sub-antarctic, subantarctic, surface, surfacing, swimming, teeth, threatened, trunk, wildlife, yawning, zoology

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