The Elephant Seals of San Simeon ... Jimmy Durante and His Schnozzola would be Proud!
Updated: Feb 16
Much like the American entertainer, Jimmy Durante, elephant seals are well known for their exceptionally large nose. But there is much, much more to these impressive animals.
Elephant seals are thought to have been named "elephants" because of their large girth and noses that resemble an elephant’s trunk. Northern elephant seal males Males begin developing this enlarged nose, or proboscis, when they reach puberty at about five years, and it is fully developed by eight to nine years. Adult males may grow to 14-16 feet (4-5 m) in length and weigh up to 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). The females are much smaller at 9-12 feet (2.5-4 m) in length and 900-1,800 pounds (400-800 kg). The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. The elephant seal is in the phocid, or true seal, family. It lacks external ear flaps and moves on land by flopping on its belly. The elephant seal has a broad, round face with very large eyes. Pups are 3 to 4 feet (1 m) long at birth and weigh about 70 pounds (32 kg). They are born with a black coat which is molted, or shed, at about the time of weaning (28 days), revealing a sleek, silver-gray coat. Within a year, the coat will turn silvery brown.
Once over hunted for its valuable blubber and hide and whose habitat was threatened by human development and encroachment, several groups have formed to come to the aid of these cute creatures. One such group is the Friends of the Elephant Seal located in San Simeon, California whom work hard to protect the Elephant Seals and promote responsible wildlife viewing practices.