Question from E-seal observer:
Do Northern elephant seals do different things when compared to Southern elephant seals? What is the difference between the two species as far as the distance they travel, how far they can dive, and what is their prey?
Northern and southern elephant seals are very similar in terms of how long and deep they dive. The major difference is that southern elephant seals are a little larger (weight and length). Further, southern elephant seals breed in higher latitudes than northern elephant seals and it appears that northern elephant seals swim further to their foraging grounds. There are also differences in the pattern of their dives. Northern elephant seals have a pronounced difference in where males and females go. Northern elephant seal females tend to forage far out at sea, while males tend to forage on along the margins of the continental shelf. In contrast male and female southern elephant seals both forage on and along the continental shelf.