Sunday, September 11, 2011

Elephant Seal

The elephant seal, though very cute if young or female, get their name from the "Bull" or fully grown male seal with his large snout. I personally LOVE seals. I think they are kind of cute :-) So, I am gonna be partial and try not to use the word Ugly on them but then it is suggested by one of my close friends to post it up on our Ugly Animals blog which is why it is featured here.

The nose of an Elephant Seal actually resembles that of an elephant trunk, only shorter. There are two different species of elephant seals. One species is from the northern Pacific coasts of the U.S. and Canada and the other species is from the southern hemisphere, that being New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Peninsula Valdes.

Both of these species of seal reach a whopping 16 feet long and up to 6000 lbs for the bulls and the cows are a bit smaller at 10 feet long and 2000 lbs small. They like to feast on ocean delights such as squid, octopi, eels, rays, small sharks and large fish. And its no wonder because they need to maintain a large amounts of blubber to stay warm within the ocean.

They spend up to 80% of their lives in the water.They are able to stay underwater due to their large amount of blood supplies in their bodies, which also carries the oxygen needed during their deep ocean diving. These large blood supplies are stored in large sinuses found in their abdomens and also stored within their muscles. Because of this they can stay underwater for up to 2 hours long!

By the age of four or five years old, the females are ready to begin mating. They will generally only have one pup at a time. The male reaches his maturity around five years, but won't reach alpha status until he reaches eight years of age or older, alpha being the leader of the group. His prime age is between nine and twelve years of age.

If you think this is one of the Ugly Animals the, hold on! Look at the picture where it is cuddling onto the other seal. Does it not just make you say, "Awwwww!" :-)

Ugly Animals - Elephant Seal

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