Arctic Blog’s Animal of the Day: ‘The Elephant Seal’
You’d think that these flabby animals wouldn’t even go near water, but they can actually reach depths of 400 to 1,500 metres. They spend about 80% of their lives in the ocean, and they can even sleep underwater!
There are two species, the Southern elephant seal, and the Northern. By the end of the 19th century they both were nearly hunted to the brink of extinction but numbers have recovered since then.
Their ‘proboscis’ (elongated head lump thing basically) allows them to produce extremely loud roars during the mating season and also has lots of cavities, which reabsorb moisture from their inhalations. This is important as it helps them conserve body moisture at times when they are away from water.