Watch them enter the … The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world after the southern elephant seal. They return to their rookeries in winter to breed and give birth. Southern elephant seals can swim at speeds of between 3 and 6 mph (approximately 5 to 10 kph) While males might live for 15 years females can live to around 25 years of age. Female southern elephant seals reach sexual maturity as early as three years of age, while males reach sexual maturity at six. An elephant seal named Phyllis at Ano Nuevo Natural Preserve within Ano Nuevo State Park near Pescadero, Calif., in May. When away from the continental shelf, seals dive somewhat deeper during daylight hours than at night. The bulls will vie for mates: females arriving from waters around Hawaii that will birth pups and fast until their departure. “Isu Learns to Swim- The Story of a Northern Elephant Seal Pup in California” is an award-winning children’s book by Charmaine Coimbra. Viewing Seasons. Elephant seals also have thick blubber to keep them warm during cold-water migrations. In peak times, there are up to 17,000 animals on the San simeon shores. Elephant seals were born to swim, and scientists have the data to show it. Southern Elephant Seal … While swimming, southern elephant seals move at speeds around 5 - 10 kph (3 - 6 mph). For the first time, researchers at the University of California have tracked the diving behavior of northern elephant seal pups on their inaugural journeys into the open ocean. An elephant seal that researchers named Zelda gave birth last fall to Ziggy on a beach in South Africa. Now that the elephant seal pups are weaned, they enter the next stage of life: learning to hold their breath and swim, to prepare for their first migration. Elephant seals migrate in search of food, spending months at sea and often diving deep to forage. Southern elephant seal mating rituals. Beachgoers should keep a distance from the animals. Elephant seals will dive to depths of 2,500 m in search of their prey. Male northern elephant seals like the one above swim from the Aleutian Islands to haul ashore at places like Drakes Beach, a preferred beach in recent years as storms have made more exposed spots less attractive. Elephant Seals haul out on beaches near San Simeon year round, as they go through different phases in their life cycle. A seal will swim approximately 15,000 to 20,000 miles (25,000 to 32,000 km) each year. Elephant seals eat rays, skates, fish, squid, and sharks that live near the bottom of the ocean. But long-distance swimming is only part of what makes the physiology of northern elephant seals so extraordinary. The Elephant Seal viewing area has plenty of parking. They are capable of swimming at speeds up to 10 mph (16 kph) but usually travel more slowly to conserve energy. Feeding. This is a factual story about how northern elephant seal pups must learn to survive on their own when their mothers leave … They also are exceptional divers, plunging down to between 1,000 and 2,600 feet (roughly 300 and 800 meters) below the water surface and staying submerged for anywhere from several minutes to more than an hour. When the scientists released him, they expected him to swim … Southern elephant seals can move along the ground at about 5 kph (3 mph) while on land. The dirt lot can accommodate vehicles of all sizes, including RV's and trucks. As part of the phocid, or true seal, family, elephant seals have ear holes and short front flippers that allow them to move on land by flopping on their bellies, also known as “galumphing.” Elephant seals spend 90% of their lives underwater looking for food. In peak times, there are up to 10 mph ( 16 kph ) but usually travel slowly... 5 kph ( 3 mph ) at sea and often diving deep to.. 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