Users' questions

Do elephant seals fight each other?

Do elephant seals fight each other?

When breeding season arrives, male elephant seals define and defend territories. They collect a harem of 40 to 50 females, which are much smaller than their enormous mates. Males battle each other for mating dominance.

How do sea elephants mate?

The mating system of southern elephant seals is strongly polygynous, and it is the purest form of harem based female defence polygyny. Females gather in groups while on land for parturition and suckling of the pup.

How do seals mate?

After the pupping season, males initiate true mating behavior by chasing, neck- and flipper-biting, and embracing. When approached, females respond by growling, head-thrusting, and flipper-waving. Copulation usually takes place in the water. A male harbor seal may mate with several females.

Do elephant seals fight to the death?

Do big males fight to the death? Rarely. During the breeding season, bulls battle each other for the right to breed with the females. These confrontations are often bloody, but rarely result in serious injury to either bull.

Are elephant seals in danger of becoming extinct today?

Today, elephant seals are not in danger of becoming extinct. This is because laws are now in place to protect their populations.

What is the largest seal in the world?

southern elephant seal
The southern elephant seal is a true seal and is the largest pinniped (seal or sea lion) and carnivoran (hairy carnivore) in the world. Adult males are enormous – at least six times larger than polar bears and nearly twice the size of the next largest seal (the northern elephant seal).

Where do elephant seals give birth?

Northern elephant seals are found in the eastern and central North Pacific Ocean. Though they range as far north as Alaska, they typically breed and give birth in the Channel Islands off California or Baja California in Mexico, primarily on offshore islands from December to March.

Why are elephant seals so fat?

At the beginning of their migration, the elephant seals are skinny and sink through the water column. But as the feeding migration progresses, they gain weight and their buoyancy becomes less negative until they become positively buoyant, when their body fat reaches 30 percent.

Why do elephant seals have big noses?

Elephant seals aren’t named for their size. Rather, the males develop noses that kind of look like elephants’ trunks. They inflate their noses in order to scare other males away — to mate, they have to fight for dominance.

Are elephant seals extinct today?

Today, there are somewhere between 120,000-150,000 elephant seals — a number likely close to their historic population. They have long since been removed from the endangered species list, though they are still protected in the U.S. by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Thankfully, they are a thriving species once again.

What do you need to know about elephant seal mating?

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When do elephant seals mate in Northern California?

Elephant seals begin their mating frenzy on the coast of Northern California in late December. This guy appears to be off to a strong start. All photos by Daniel C. Britt. Female seals perk up as I begin my upright version of the worm on the beach near Chimney Rock at the Point Reyes National Seashore.

How long does it take for elephant seals to have babies?

This allows a lot of flexibility for mating times and means that most babies will be born within a few weeks of each other the next year – on the beach, after the harems are established. Elephant seal harem with all babies nearly the same age. (GA image)

What kind of fight does an elephant seal have?

A typical male elephant seal fight – threatening, vocalizing, and lunging. The winner remains with the submissive looser crawling away. (GA images) Elephant seal males fight with threats, vocalizations, and lunging to establish their territory.