Q:

Where do elephant seals live?

A:

There are two kinds of elephant seals; northern elephant seals are found in California and nearby offshore islands, and southern elephant seals live in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic waters. Both species spend significant time in the water and on land.

Southern elephant seals are the largest of all seals and prefer to live in extreme cold conditions. They spend the entire winter in the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica hunting fish, squid and other marine food. During spring they come to shore to breed and give birth. Both elephant seal species have been hunted for their oil and were once at risk of extinction. Due to legal protections, they have since recovered.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What kind of habitat do seals live in?

    A:

    Seals have a wide range of habitats in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, depending on their species. The one thing all seal habitats have in common is the fact that they all include water.

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  • Q:

    What do seals eat?

    A:

    Seals feed mainly on fish, but shellfish, squid and octopus also feature prominently in their diet. Seals are usually opportunistic feeders and are willing to eat most meat that is available depending on the location. They're considered to be predatory carnivores, and although most seals eat a vast variety of ocean creatures, some species eat only specific prey, such as crustaceans or krill.

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  • Q:

    Why are seals endangered?

    A:

    Not all species of seals are endangered, but for the many species that are endangered, there are a number of different causes, including hunting, climate change and natural disasters. The populations of many seal species have been steadily declining over the past several hundred years due to humans killing millions of them for their skin, meat and blubber.

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  • Q:

    What eats seals?

    A:

    Creatures that eat seals include killer whales, humans, polar bears and other seals. The Weddell seal, which is found in the Antarctic, is prey for killer whales, also called orcas, and leopard seals. Leopard seals also eat crabeater seals. Leopard seals, in turn, are prey for killer whales.

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