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Southern Elephant Seal (male)

Mirounga leonina


"The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is one of the two extant species of elephant seal. It is both the largest pinniped and member of the order Carnivora living today. The seal gets its name from its great size and the large proboscis of the adult males, which is used to make extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season."


"The world population was estimated at 650,000 animals in the mid-1990s,[1] and was estimated in 2005 at between 664,000 and 740,000 animals.[7] Studies have shown the existence of three geographic subpopulations, one in each of the three oceans. Tracking studies have indicated the routes traveled by elephant seals, demonstrating that their main feeding area is at the edge of the Antarctic continent. While elephant seals may come ashore in Antarctica occasionally to rest or to mate, they gather to breed in subantarctic locations."


"Elephant seals are among the seals that can stay on land for the longest periods of time, as they can stay dry for several consecutive weeks each year. Males arrive in the colonies earlier than the females and fight for control of harems when they arrive."

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KarenL 11 years ago

Fun fact! The Southern elephant seal is the world's largest carnivore. A large adult male can measure over 20 feet in length and tip the scales at a massive 5.5 tons! Females of the species are much smaller, typically weighing in at less than 25% of the males' weight.

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 11 years ago

Just Fantastic Congratulations Cyrill !

Yasser 11 years ago

Congratulations Cyrill, this spotting was also selected by National Geographic as their Spotting of the Week!

National Geographic on Facebook:

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 11 years ago

Congratulations for SOTD.

patty 11 years ago

Congratulations! Nice series and your spottings and pictures are beautiful; thank you for sharing them =)

Ryan21 11 years ago


LuisStevens 11 years ago

Congrats Cyrill on your SOTD award.

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 11 years ago

Great spotting...!!

Chantell 11 years ago

HaHa! I love the one with his tongue hanging out!

Atul 11 years ago

congrats !

bayucca 11 years ago

Congrats!! Love #4 ;-)...!!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 11 years ago

Congratulations !!!

williefromwi 11 years ago

Congrats Cyril on your SOTD award.

NeilDazet 11 years ago

Congratulations Cyril! I love learning about how fascinating creatures like this one get their common name. This is a great contribution to Project Noah!

KarenL 11 years ago

Congratulations Cyrill!

Yasser 11 years ago

Congrats Cyrill, these great close-ups have earned you a Spotting of the Day! We especially loved the 4th pick. We hope to see more great photos from you.

"A male Southern Elephant Seal can weigh more than 3,700 kilograms or over 8,000 pounds!"


rutasandinas 11 years ago

Sensacional series!!

KarenL 11 years ago

Fabulous series Cyrill!
You look like you have some amazing adventures! Would you mind sharing some of the circumstances of your spottings in the notes - I know the community would be really interested to know more!

CarolSnowMilne 11 years ago

HA! LOVE THE 4th photo. Hilarious!

Spotted by

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Spotted on Nov 9, 2008
Submitted on Jun 1, 2012

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