Southern Elephant Seals

The largest seal on the planet, the male southern elephant seal can weigh a hefty 3,900 kilograms (8,600 pounds) and grow up to six meters (20 feet) long. These animals owe their name to the unusual trunk-like protrusion that extends from the front of their face (and is found only in the male). While these aquatic giants inhabit oceans around the world, they’re partial to the rocky shores of the Antarctic region, including the Cockburn Channel and other waterways along the southern coast of Patagonia. You may spot huge groups of elephant seals sunning on the rocks and occasionally emitting deep, loud roars, especially as mating season approaches. Southern elephant seals are most at home in the water, of course, where they can spend up to two hours without surfacing and can dive to depths of 900 meters (more than half a mile).

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