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.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Lloyd Spencer Davis

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Lloyd Spencer Davis, 'Seals - Southern elephant seal', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 June 2024)

Story by Lloyd Spencer Davis, published 12 Jun 2006