Southern Elephant Seal

Name : Southern Elephant Seal

Scientific Name : Mirounga leonina

Class : Mammalia

Family : Phocidae

Order : Pinnipedia

Shape : Enormous size and the swollen, proboscis-like snout of the male make this animal unmistakable. Females are fat and chubby, uniformly drab brown, and lack the proboscis. Both sexes have only one pair of incisor teeth in the lower jaw, unlike all other seals in the family Phocidae.

Length : Bulls 4.6 m; females 2.9 m.

Weight : Bulls average weight: 3.6 tons; females can weigh up to 350 kg.

Diet : Feeds mainly on squid and fish.

Migration : A few stragglers find their way to South Africa each year, and may join fur seal colonies. Isolated bulls sometimes flatten fur-seals females while attempting to mate with them.

Distribution : Common on sub-Antarctic islands; bulls haul onto boulder beaches to moult in November, followed shortly by females.