Southern elephant seals

Southern elephant seals

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Credit: DOUG ALLAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Female seals during their annual summer moult, lying in a wallow. A wallow is a muddy hole where the seal's old skin is shed, by rolling in the mud and rubbing other seals. Female (cow) elephant seals lack the trunk-like proboscis found on the males, which gives the seal its name. The southern elephant seal spends 10 months of the year diving to forage for food, which mainly consists of squid. Females can reach up to 3 metres in length and weigh up to 875 kilogrammes. Elephant seals only come ashore to moult or breed. Photographed on South Georgia Island.

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Keywords: adult, animal, animals, antarctic, antarctica, atlantic, british territory, carnivore, carnivorous, cow, falklands, female, females, mammal, mammals, mirounga leonina, moult, moulting, nature, oceanic, predator, predatory, seal, shedding, skin, south georgia island, southern elephant seals, summer, wallow, wallowing, wildlife, zoology

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