Elephant Seal: Recent Study

The scientists of Scotland have conducted a detailed study on the Elephant Seals in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Key Findings of the Study

The seals migrate to north eastern pacific ocean post breeding season mainly to feed their young ones. It has been found that the female seals spend more than twenty to twenty four hours every day in hunting. The study has found that they choose their hunt very carefully unlike the other deep diving marine animals. They select multitudes (large number) of small fishes to gain the essential body fat. The fat is highly important for the seals to survive in greater depths.

The study has also found that they feed thousand to two thousand times every day.

About the research

  • The researchers tracked forty eight female seals in the Ano Nuevo State Park in California.
  • The researchers attached small removable devices under the jaw to count the number of times the seals fed.
  • Also, the device was used to measure the depth of their hunt.
  • A satellite tracker was used to provide location information.
  • Also, the seals were attached with motion tracker, infrared LED light flash and a depth sensor on top of their heads.

About the seals

  • They migrate around 6,000 kilo metres.
  • There are two types of elephant seals. They are northern elephant seal and southern elephant seal. They are the two world biggest seals and the largest marine animals apart from whales.
  • The northern elephant seals reach four metres in length and weigh up to two thousand kilo grams. The females are three metres in length and weighing up to 590 kilograms.
  • The males feed only on coastal waters.
  • They continuously dive for twenty to hundred minutes at a depth of 500 to 1500 metres with only breathing for a few minutes in the surface.
  • The Elephant seals generally breed and give birth in California between December and March. In due course, they lose a third of their body weight.

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