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Southern Elephant Seal

Southern Elephant Seal

(Mirounga leonina)

The Southern Elephant Seal is the world deep-diving champion of the mammals. It has been recorded at depths up to 7,000 feet! Well over a mile, straight down! (Though some believe the Sperm Whale dives deeper.) It is also a giant, the largest member of the order Carnivora. Males can be 17 feet long and weigh up to 7,000 pounds. That’s more than twice the weight of my car (a Toyota Rav4)!

This Southern Elephant Seal was just finishing moulting her skin when photographed on Pleneau Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica by Hal Brindley.

Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) and Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua). Pleneau Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica. © Hal Brindley .com
moulting Southern Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina) and Gentoo Penguin chicks (Pygoscelis papua). Pleneau Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica.