Mammals        18 июля 2017        1193         0

Elephant seal. The lifestyle and habitat of the sea elephant

In nature there are many mammals that we see on TV. But if you think about it, in fact, we don’t really know anything. How they live and where. In what circumstances and what to eat. How to multiply and raise their offspring. And most importantly, it does not endanger them either.

Description and features of elephant

Sea elephant, is absolutely irrelevant to a terrestrial elephant. The only similarity to their sex – at sea, on the muzzle end, hanging thirty centimeter thick bone, supposedly reminiscent of an elephant’s trunk.

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Mammal belonging to the family of earless tulenovich. Although some scholars of science, zoologists, has long refuted this theory. And claim that their ancestors, that, oddly enough, the badger and the marten. Sea elephants are huge in size, even though they are mammals, but are predators.

They live on the North American continent and the Antarctic region. In Antarctica sea elephant came, hiding from the poachers. The inhabitants of the subarctic and subantarctic seas.

These representatives, Northern and southern elephant seals, many similar appearance to each other. Northern elephant seals are slightly larger than the size of their southern cousins. Their nose, in contrast to the southern elephants, thinner and longer.

The family tulenovich, sea elephant is the largest of their representative. After all, its dimensions are impressive. Male sea elephant weigh up to four tons of the Northern and southern three-ton. Growth they are five or six meters in length.

Their females look small fragile duimovochka, against their men. Weight they do not even reach the ton. Within eight hundred nine pounds. Well, according to half of their length, only two and a half, three feet.

Yet males and females differ in fur color. In males it mouse-colour. And females the same dressed in darker colors, as excavation. The coat consists of short, very thick and hard fibers.

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But from afar, it looks very nice. Plush as the giants crawled out from the depths of the sea. You can not say about the shedding period. Half of winter, the animal is on the beach.

His skin blistering, and whole layers slazit with him. During all elephant seals do not eat, lying down in pain on the coastal shingle. Since the process is quite painful and unpleasant.

The animal loses weight and is weakened. But changing the outfit looks like a sea elephant, one feast for the eyes. Struggling, already faded, gray elephant seals flock to the sea to rejuvenate and replenish the belly.

Other mammals have a big contrast to their women, the presence of so-called trunk. Pictures of sea elephants show that it hangs on the very edge of the muzzle, covering his mouth.

It all consists of large mounds, as if there was nepratele stones stones. In female animals it does not. They have pretty faces, like giant plush toys. On the nose there are small hard, large sensitivity antennae.

Interesting fact about sea elephants is that during the mating period, the male trunk is inflated. It receives the blood, muscles begin to contract, and of the thirty-centimeter Appendix, there is a half-meter or more something.

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The head of these animals is small, flows smoothly into the trunk. There are small, dark olive eyes. The skin on the neck of the elephant is very tough and rough. It protects the animal from biting during mating duels. Their huge body ends with a large, forked like a fish’s tail. And the front, instead of limbs, two fin with large claws.

The lifestyle and habitat of sea elephants

So where do sea elephants live? Northern pinnipeds, permanent residents of California and Mexican waters. Yet, a hundred years ago, they were on the verge of extinction.

The number of individuals was not more than a hundred animals. They were savagely killed, killing with spears, for the sake of animal fat. Elephants he served fifteen centimeter protective layer from the icy water.

Where they were destroyed, and heated the fat. Its quantity has reached a million pounds, is how many thousands of animals had to be destroyed. Still, Recalling the bitter times, on the banks lying covered with algae, bird droppings and rust bucket.

Activists struggled for the salvation of their population. You can not say about the sea cow, which disappeared due to poaching. And already in the fifties of the last century, they multiplied to fifteen thousand individuals.

South of a mammal, have suffered the same fate, they had to flee, settling on difficult accessible Islands of South Georgia, Marion. And Makarska and Herdova the island there are a couple of rookeries animals.

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The number of individuals in one rookery there are tens of thousands. The Argentine Peninsula has made protected areas, and for the past fifty years, banned all hunting of animals.

And already, in the sixties, biologists took up the study of elephant seals. In spite of its huge settings, these animals feel perfectly in the water. They are great swim, reaching speeds of twenty miles per hour.

And what are the divers. After all, the elephant, the first after the whales can dive for prey to depths of up to two kilometers. Shnyreva, his nostrils are closed.

And, is aware only about the elephant seals, they control their circulation. Plunging deeper, the blood begins to flow only to the heart and brain, without any harm to the animal.

You can not say about the time spending on land. I think that is the whole ordeal for a mammal. Crawling ashore, he had difficulty moving in the right direction. The length of his step, a little more than thirty centimeters.

Therefore, to cope with their Affairs on the shore, the elephant gets tired very quickly. And the first thing it comes to mind, immediately to sleep. Moreover, their sleep is so strong, and snoring so loud that even scientists have repeatedly been able, without fear for their lives, and to calculate the frequency of their breathing, listen to the pulse and a cardiogram of the heart.

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They have another unique ability. Incredibly, elephants are sleeping under the water too. Plunging deep into the water, their nostrils are closed. And for fifteen-twenty minutes the animal was sleeping peacefully.

Then the lungs expand, the body inflates like a balloon, and pinnipeds to the surface. Nostrils are opened, five minutes animal breathes, then dives again into the depths. That’s how he sleeps.

The power of the sea elephant

As elephant carnivorous mammal. The main diet consists of fish. Also squid, crayfish and crabs. Adult, per day can eat half a hundredweight of fish. To taste, they no longer have shark meat and flesh of the slope.

Very often, in the stomachs of elephant seals find pebbles. Some believe that it is needed for ballast when diving, elephant in the water. Others, conversely, suggest that the stones contribute to chafing, entirely swallowed shellfish.

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But when animal comes the mating season, molt, elephants do not eat anything for months, existing exclusively to the fat reserves, which they increased during the fattening period.

Reproduction and life expectancy

Immediately after molting, the lives of elephants, there comes a time love. From mid-winter to mid-spring, elephants arrange fights, then breed, and got up offspring.

It all starts with slipping of elephants on the shore. The female, being pregnant, since last year. After this period, they account for eleven months. The male elephants no relation to the upbringing of offspring, are not.

Finding a quiet, visible place, the mother gives birth to only one cub. It appears the light meter tall and weighing up to forty pounds. For a month, mom is an elephant, feeding a baby only with her breast milk.

It is the representatives of these individuals, the calories. Its fat content is fifty percent. The child during feeding, gaining weight well. After the mother leaves their child forever.

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The offspring formed a sufficient layer of subcutaneous fat that in the following adaptive independent month of your life, they could survive. At three months of age, children leave the rookery and go into open water.

Once the female moves away from her child, there is a period of marital fighting. The largest and the oldest elephants arrange fights for life and death, for the right to become Sultan of his harem.

Elephants roar loudly at each other, fanning their trunks and beat them in the hope that this will scare the opponent. Then in the course are powerful, sharp teeth. The winner collects himself near the ladies. Harems there are some three hundred other females.

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And the victim, and wounded, out to the edge of the rookery. He still finds a mate, not having the authority of the Hyper-male. Unfortunate, but during these encounters, very often suffer and little children die, they are simply not seeing in battle, trampled by adults.

Gathering their women, the leader chooses his passion, sternly putting her on the back of its front flippers. So it evinces a superiority over her. And if the lady is not positioned to meet the male that did not care. He climbs with all his tons on her back. There is already resistance is futile.

Mature age comes, the younger generation has already been to four years of life in males. Females, with two years of age ready to mate. For the past ten years, a female elephant can give birth to children. Then they age. Sea elephants die in fifteen, twenty years of age.

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Despite its impressive size, the sea elephants, too, become prey for killer whales. A leopard seal pursues immature children. But the worst enemies for many centuries, no matter how scary it sounds, we – the people.

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