Southern elephant seal moulting

Southern elephant seal moulting

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Credit: BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Southern elephant seal moulting. This species of seal (Mirounga leonina) comes ashore in summer to moult. Juveniles, as seen here, arrive earlier in the season. Moulting involves shedding the fur and outer epidermis (skin) to reveal a new coat. The trunk-like proboscis which gives the seal its name is found only in adult males. The southern elephant seal spends 10 months of the year diving to forage for food. Its main prey is squid. Apart from moulting, the seal only comes ashore to breed. Photographed on South Georgia Island.

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Keywords: animal, antarctic, antarctica, calling, carnivore, carnivorous, fur, gaping, hair, juvenile, mammal, mammals, mirounga leonina, moult, moulting, mouth open, nature, oceanic, predator, predatory, shedding, skin, south georgia island, southern elephant seal, wildlife, yawning, young, zoology

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