A southern elephant seal bellowing

Southern Elephant seal

Southern elephant seals can be larger than their northern cousins, with bulls often weighing 40% more during the breeding season. This is twice the weight of bull walrus, and 6-7 times the weight of Kodiak or Polar bears which are the next heaviest carnivorous mostly terrestrial mammals.

It has a shorter nose than the northern elephant seal, but the range does not overlap, so it should not be possible to confuse the two. Their size varies largely depending on where they are from. They are found in New Zealand, Argentina South Africa (though generally keep to islands off the coast). They are thought to have a population of around 750,000, though there are 3 populations, one in each ocean that dont appear to mix a great deal.

Like the Northern Elephant seal, at the end of the hunting period their population was largely depleated, though in the case of the Southern elephant seal, by less. The population is thought to be largely stable at the current time. There are fears that climate change is making life harder but time will tell.

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