Story: Seals

Male southern elephant seal

Male southern elephant seal

During the breeding season the mature male’s snout or proboscis becomes swollen as a sign of dominance, and is also thought to help amplify his deep, bubbling roars. To relieve itching skin, elephant seals often flick sand on their skin or wallow in mud. Fat is an advantage as they will fast for three months during the breeding season, losing up to 12 kilograms a day.

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Photograph by Lloyd Spencer Davis

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How to cite this page:

Lloyd Spencer Davis, 'Seals - Southern elephant seal', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/6190/male-southern-elephant-seal (accessed 18 October 2021)

Story by Lloyd Spencer Davis, published 12 Jun 2006