Table of Contents
How Do Elephant Seals Survive In The Ocean? Elephant seals have compliant chest walls that allow their lungs to completely collapse under pressure while deep diving, and then re-inflate when the seal returns to the surface.
Do elephant seals live in the ocean? Northern elephant seals are found in the eastern and central North Pacific Ocean from Mexico’s Baja California to the Gulf of Alaska.
What traits allow the elephant seal to live in water? Their body is covered in blubber, which helps them keep warm and reduce drag while they are swimming. The shape of their body also helps them maneuver well in the water, but limits their movement on land. Also, elephant seals have the ability to fast for long periods of time while breeding or molting.
Can elephant seals breathe underwater? The ability to dive underwater for extended periods is a specialized feat marine and aquatic mammals have evolved over millions of years. (Related: “Can Diving Mammals Avoid the Bends?”) But champion divers, such as elephant seals, can hold their breath for about two hours.
How Do Elephant Seals Survive In The Ocean – Related Questions
How do elephant seals adapt to their environment?
Elephant seals’ blubber accounts for much of their weight and is an adaptation to help them stay warm. The bigger an animal is, the less surface area (or skin exposed to the air) it has in relation to its volume, so it loses less heat.
Do elephant seals eat sharks?
Great white sharks are among the most fearsome predators in the ocean. But elephant seals can intimidate them with their massive size. They can eat all kinds of large prey – including tuna, rays, other sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters and birds.
Where do elephants seals live?
Where They Live. 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.
How are elephant seals adapted to live in Antarctica?
Their red blood cells may, as an adaptation for diving, contain more haemoglobin than normal. These extra red blood cells make elephant seals’ blood very thick. Southern elephant seals have a thick layer of blubber that sustains them during the breeding season as they do not feed during this time.
How do elephant seals move?
Aside from their distinctive facial features, elephant seals have hind limbs that are used as tail fins when swimming. The two fins on either side of their bodies are not used for swimming, but propel their bulky bodies forward on land.
What do elephant seals prey on?
Large southern elephant seals have few predators, but killer whales, leopard seals, and some large sharks are known to feed on this species.
How long do seals stay underwater?
Dives last 3 to 7 minutes and are usually in shallow waters. But they can dive deeper. Adult harbor seals can dive as deep as 1500 feet and stay underwater over 30 minutes!
How fast can seals swim?
True seals usually swim at about 6 mph and can reach speeds as fast as 18 mph. Walruses tend to take a relaxing approach to the water, averaging speeds of 6 mph or less.
How Long Can elephants stay underwater?
Just keep swimming.
They can swim completely submerged underwater, using their trunks to breathe. Because of this built-in snorkel, elephants can swim for hours without stopping. If they do get tired, the elephants’ massive bodies allow them to easily float and rest—it’s nearly impossible for them to drown! 10.
How does an elephant seal obtain its food?
Answer: The main sources of food are fish and squid. Prey is captured both near the surface and very deep underwater. The seals have been known to eat bottom dwelling fish from the ocean’s darkest depths.
What are two reasons why elephant seals come on land?
While elephant seals spend most of their time swimming, they also gather on beaches in groups called colonies. One reason they come to land is to give birth and breed. Males arrive before females. They battle for dominance, deciding who will have large harems of females.
Why do elephant seals throw sand on themselves?
Why do they flip sand? Their bodies are designed to keep warm in cold water. Sand flipping helps them keep cool on land by acting as a sunscreen. In addition, they sometimes can be seen flipping sand under stressful conditions.
Do elephant seals eat penguins?
Penguins are frequently killed and eaten by predators like fur seals, leopard seals, elephant seals, and other ground and marine predators.
How does a seal avoid sharks?
“Stealth and ambush are key elements in the white shark’s predatory strategy,” said Hammerschlag. According to the authors, if a seal is not disabled during the shark’s initial shark, the small seal can use its highly maneuverable body to leap away from the shark’s jaws to evade a second strike.
Has anyone been attacked by elephant seals?
An Elephant Seal Terrorizes California There’s an aggressive elephant seal on the loose in California. Nibbles, as he’s known, has bitten a surfer, a kayaker and killed a dozen harbor seals.
Where do elephant seals migrate to?
Northern elephant seals migrate twice a year between the Californian and Mexican beaches and their feeding areas in the north Pacific Ocean. The adult males feed in the Gulf of Alaska and near the eastern Aleutian Islands, while the adult females feed further south between 40-45°N.
Do elephant seals mate for life?
Sneaker males hang out along the periphery of the rookery and try to mate when the harem master is asleep or busy. It is believed that only about one percent of all male elephant seals actually get to mate during their life. Males have a very hard life and live a considerably shorter time than the females.
What do elephant seals do?
Elephant seals spend an unusual amount of time in the ocean, up to 80% of their lives. Elephant seals can hold their breath for over 80 minutes, longer than any other non-cetacean mammal. Furthermore, elephant seals are incredible divers as well, with an ability to dive to 1500 metres beneath the oceans surface.
Can seals survive in warm water?
A Seal’s Efficient Body Design Keeps Them Warm
There are over 30 species of seals around the world. Seals live in every ocean and survive in different water temperatures. Seals are able to keep themselves warm in extremely cold ocean waters because of the way their bodies are designed.
Can humans outrun elephant seals?
Seals are preyed upon by sharks, killer whales, and humans. Elephant seals spend about 20 percent of their lives on land and about 80 percent of their time in the ocean. Although they are aquatic animals, seals on sand can outrun humans.
How do elephant seals protect themselves?
Aggression. As a last resort when grabbed by a predator, seals will bite and thrash to defend themselves. In the case of male seals, such as elephant seals protecting a territory from competing males, the two will battle by biting and slamming their necks against each other.