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Creature Feature: the Northern Elephant Seal

Want to learn some fun facts about the northern elephant seal? Keep reading to learn more!

  • This species is the second largest seal, ranking slightly behind the southern elephant seal.

    • Males can weigh up to 4,400 pounds.

    • Females can weigh up to 1,300 pounds.

  • They use their large, inflatable noses to sound vocally threatening to one another.

    • Their nose is referred to as a proboscis.

    • The proboscis hangs over the lower lip by 8 inches.

  • Northern elephant seals have the longest migration out of any mammal at 13,000 miles roundtrip.

  • Males use their necks to fight off other males.

    • Shielding them from harm, their necks prove thick and calloused.

  • These seals consume a diet of squid, fish, rays, sharks, and other creatures.

    • While on land, they survive off their blubber, so they fast.

  • Northern elephant seals spend 9 months of the year in the ocean.

  • Resembling an elephant's trunk, the proboscis gives these seals their signature name: the elephant seals.

  • Males typically live around 13 years, while females typically live around 19 years.

  • Elephant seals typically dive from 400-800 meters below the water’s surface.

Map of northern and southern elephant seal regions:


Diving. Earthguide. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2022, from,see%20Dive%20Stats%20table%20below).

Fisheries, N. O. A. A. (2022, April 19). Northern Elephant Seal. NOAA. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from

Fun Facts. Friends of the Elephant Seal. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2022, from

U.S. Department of the Interior. (n.d.). Northern Elephant Seal (U.S. National Park Service). National Parks Service. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from


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