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MAMALIA AIR

Water Mammal yaitu mamalia yang hidup di laut maupun di air tawar. Contoh hewan ini adalah Sea
Lions, The Walrus, Sperm Whale, Beluga Whale, Blue Whale, Manatees, Narwhal, The Platypus,
Dolphins, Dugong, Elephant Seal, Northern Fur Seal, Gray seal, Leopard Seal,Sea Otters.
Ciri-ciri mamalia
a. Mempunyai kelenjar susu yang terletak disisi bawah tubuh (di ketiak). Betina dapat
mengeluarkan susu setelah melahirkan. Kelenjar ini seperti kelenjar keringat, jadi diatur oleh
hormon. Air susu marine mammal mengandung 40-50% lemak untuk mensupport pertumbuhan
bayinta agar memiliki lapisan lemak yang cukup.
b. Melahirkan (viviparous), menyusui.

Dugong with attached remora (Lamen Island, Epi, Vanuatu).


c. Bulu, sedikitnya ada dalam satu siklus hidup. Bulu ikan paus hanya beberapa helai di sekitar
tenggorokan dan hilang setelah dewasa. Bulu tumbuh dari kantong bulu di dalam kulit yang
dilengkapi dengan kelenjar palit yang mengeluarkan minyak sehingga nampak mengkilat. Bulu
berperan sebagai termoregulasi (pengatur suhu / memper -tahankan suhu tubuh pada tingkat
tertentu.
d. Jantung terdiri dari 4 bilik
e. Eritrocit tanpa inti dan bi concaf
f.

Otak relatif besar

g. Pada rongga dada terdapat iga dan diaphragma.


h. Marine mammal bernafas dari udara sedangkan hewan laut bernafas dari udara yang terlarut di
air.
i.

Suhu tubuh relatif lebih tinggi dari suhu lingkungannya, karena dibantu oleh lapisan lemak dan
bulu di tubuhnya.

j.

Mempunyai kemampuan melawan arus (countercurrent exchange) seperti gerakan hauling


(menggulung) untuk mengurangi penurunan panas tubuh.

Marine Mammal/ Mamalia laut


Adalah mamalia yang hidup di laut atau mencari makannya di laut. Merupakan evolusi dari nenek
moyang nya yang hidup di daratan kemudian beradaptasi hidup di air. Umumnya besar-besar
(charismatic megafauna), bentuk tubuhnya hydrodynamis, ekstremitas nya termodifikasi untuk
bergerak di air dan mengalami adaptasi untuk berbagai suhu (termoregulasi) karena beberapa
species dapat beradaptasi untuk berbagai tingkat suhu karena memiliki lapisan lemak yang tebal (tick
layer blubber) untuk mencegah hilangnya panas tubuh.

Hewan laut yang beradaptasi penuh hidup di air adalah ordo Cetacea dan Sirenia yang
seluruh siklus hidupnya di dalam air. Sedangkan ordo lainnya memanfaatkan sebagian waktunya di
daratan. Beruang kutub sebagian besar hidupnya dimanfaatkan di laut meskipun lautnya beku.
sangat pandai berenang di laut terbuka dalam satu hari dapat mencapai 74 km, sehingga beruang
kutub oleh ilmuwan digolongkan dalam marine mammal.
Beberapa jenis mamalia ini menuju kepunahan, bahkan banyak yang saat ini sudah punah.
karena dulunya di eksploitasi untuk diambil lemak, daging, taring dan bulunya. Sehingga saat ini
banyak dilindungi. Mamalia air tedapatasi untuk berenang memanfaatkan sirip-nya untuk bergerak.
Ikan juga berenang menggunakan sirip-2nya. Ikan umumnya mempunyai sirip caudal yang tegak
sedangkan marine mamalia mempunyai sirip caudal yang horisontal.
Kelompok marine mamalia
Diperkirakan terdapat 120 species yang dikelompokkan menjadi 3 ordo.
1. Sirenia / sirenians : Famili Trichechidae : manatee (3 species)
Famili Dugongidae / dugong (1 species)
2. Cetacea (, dolphins dan Lumba-lumba / porpoises)
Sub ordo Mysticeti : Baleen whales/ Paus ( 14 atau 15 species)
Sub ordo Odontoceti : Toothed whales ( 73 species)
3. Carnivora
Super famili : Pinnipedia (berasal dari nenek moyang ber gigi taring)
Famili Phocidae : true seals / anjing laut ( 20 species)
Famili Otariidae : eared seals ( 16 species)
Famili Odobenidae : walrus (1 species)
Famili Mustelidae : sea otter (Enhydra lutris)
Marine otter (Lontra felina)
Famili Ursidae : Polar bear (beruang kutub) Ursus maritimus

Sea Lions

The Walrus

Platypus

Platypus

The platypus lives in small streams and rivers over a large area of eastern
Australia. The map above shows this with dark purple. It has been seen in
alpine lakes in Tasmania in the south, and north in Queensland as far as the
Cape York Peninsula in tropical rain forest rivers.[3]
In the past, platypuses lived in South Australia but they no longer live there.
There are platypus on Kangaroo Island, but these were brought to the island
in an attempt to save animals people thought might become extinct.[5] There
are very few if any platypuses left in most the Murray-Darling Basin.[6] The
water there is no good because people used it to grow plants, and cleared the
trees from the land. It is strange that the platypus does not live in some
healthy rivers. It does live in some less healthy coastal rivers, for example
the Maribyrnong River in Victoria.
Platypus are difficult to see in the wild. They dislike areas with people, spend
most of their time underground or under water, and sleep during the day. At
Eungella National Park in Queensland, there are spots on the river with
viewing areas where wild platypus can usually be seen each evening.[4]

Reproduksi nya bertelur The eggs develop in utero for about 28 days with only
about 10 days of external incubation (in contrast to a chicken egg, which spends about 1
day in tract and 21 days externally).[34] After laying her eggs in its nest, the female curls
around them. The incubation period is separated into three parts. In the first, the embryo
has no functional organs and relies on the yolk sac for sustenance. The yolk is absorbed

by the developing young.[44] During the second, the digits develop, and in the last, the
egg tooth appears.[45]
When the babies come out of the eggs after about ten days, they hold on to the mother.
The mother makes milk for the new babies. The platypus does not have nipples or teats
(puting susu), but milk comes through small openings in the skin( milk is released
through pores in the skin). There are grooves on her abdomen that form pools of milk,
allowing the young to lap it up (memudahkan anaknya untuk meminum susu tsb). The
young platypus drinks the milk from the mother's skin while she lies on her back. At six
weeks the babies have fur and are able to leave the burrow for short trips , the offspring
are suckled (menyusu) for three to four months. After four months they no longer need
their mother's milk.[3]
During incubation and weaning, the mother initially only leaves the burrow for short
periods to forage (cari makan). When doing so, she creates a number of thin soil plugs
along the length of burrow possibly to protect the young from predators; pushing past
these on her return forces water from her fur and allows the burrow to remain dry.[46]
After about five weeks, the mother begins to spend more time away from her young and
at around four months the young emerge (muncul) from the burrow.[33] A platypus is
born with teeth, but these drop out at a very early age, leaving the horny plates they
grind their food with.[47]
The fossil is thought to be about 110 million years old, which means that the Platypuslike animal was alive during the Cretaceous period, making it the oldest mammal fossil
found in Australia. Monotrematum sudamericanum, another fossil relative of the
Platypus, has been found in Argentina, indicating that monotremes were present in the
supercontinent of Gondwana when the continents of South America and Australia were
joined via Antarctica (up to about 167 million years ago).[16][51]
When on land, the platypus lives in a short, straight, oval holes, like a rabbit burrows.
These holes are between 3 m (10 ft) and 8 m (26 ft) long. It makes these holes in the
riverbank a little above the water. It likes them hidden under roots. When a female
platypus is pregnant (ready to have babies), the female makes much larger holes, up to
20 m (66 ft) long. She blocks the tunnel with earth at several places. At the end of the
tunnel, she builds a nest out of reeds (river grass) for her eggs.[4]

Europeans saw the first platypus in the 18th century. They sent the skin of a dead
platypus to Britain, so scientists could study it. At first, the scientists thought the skin
was a joke, because they thought no animal could look so strange. They thought an
Asian had made it from pieces of different animals.
National Geographic magazine had a story on the platypus in 1939. Many people all
over the world had never heard of the platypus. The story told how hard it is to raise
platypus babies in zoos. (Raising is helping little babies to grow.) Even today, humans
have raised only few platypuses. David Fleay at the Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria
had the first successful zoo raised platypus in 1946. He nearly did it again in 1972 at the
David Fleay Wildlife Park at Burleigh Heads, Queensland, but it died at 50 days.[7]

Healesville raised another in 1998 and again in 2000. Taronga Zoo in Sydney bred twins
in 2003, and had another birth in 2006.[8]
The platypus will probably not die out completely in the near future. Ecologists say that
it is secure but faces future threat (safe now but not in the future) or common but
vulnerable (there are a lot now but they are not safe). They say this because people can
make the water unsafe for the platypus.

Dolphin
For other uses, see Dolphin (disambiguation)

Bottlenose Dolphin
breaching in the bow wave of a boat
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and
porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in seventeen genera.
They vary in size from 1.2 m (4 ft) and 40 kg (90 lb) (Maui's Dolphin), up to
9.5 m (30 ft) and 10 tonnes (9.8 LT; 11 ST) (the Orca or Killer Whale). They
are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves,
and are carnivores, mostly eating fish and squid. The family Delphinidae is
the largest in the Cetacea, and relatively recent: dolphins evolved about ten
million years ago, during the Miocene. Dolphins are considered to be
amongst the most intelligent of animals and their often friendly appearance
and seemingly playful attitude have made them popular in human culture.
Common Dolphin

Spotted Dolphin

Commerson's Dolphin
Dusky Dolphin

Killer Whales, a lso known as Orcas

Origin of the name


The name is originally from Ancient Greek (delphs; "dolphin"), which was
related to the Greek (delphys; "womb"). The animal's name can therefore be
interpreted as meaning "a 'fish' with a womb".[1] The name was transmitted via the Latin
delphinus, Middle Latin dolfinus and the Old French daulphin, which reintroduced the
ph into the word.
The word is used in a few different ways. It can mean:

Any member of the family Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins),


Any member of the families Delphinidae and Platanistoidea (oceanic
and river dolphins),
Any member of the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales; these
include the above families and some others),
Used casually as a synonym for Bottlenose Dolphin, the most
common and familiar species of dolphin.

In this article, the second definition is used. Porpoises (suborder Odontoceti, family
Phocoenidae) are thus not dolphins in this sense. Orcas and some closely related species
belong to the Delphinidae family and therefore qualify as dolphins, even though they are
called whales in common language. A group of dolphins can be called a "school" or a
"pod". Male dolphins are called "bulls", females "cows" and young dolphins are called
"calves".[2]
The Boto, or Amazon River Dolphin
Suborder Odontoceti, toothed whales
o Family Delphinidae, oceanic dolphins
Genus Delphinus
Long-Beaked Common Dolphin, Delphinus capensis
Short-Beaked Common Dolphin, Delphinus delphis
Genus Tursiops
Common Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus
Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops aduncus
Genus Lissodelphis
Northern Rightwhale Dolphin, Lissodelphis borealis
Southern Rightwhale Dolphin, Lissiodelphis peronii
Genus Sotalia
Tucuxi, Sotalia fluviatilis
Costero, Sotalia guianensis
Genus Sousa
Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin, Sousa chinensis
Chinese White Dolphin (the Chinese variant), Sousa
chinensis chinensis
Atlantic Humpbacked Dolphin, Sousa teuszii
Genus Stenella
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin, Stenella frontalis
Clymene Dolphin, Stenella clymene
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin, Stenella attenuata
Spinner Dolphin, Stenella longirostris
Striped Dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba
Genus Steno
Rough-Toothed Dolphin, Steno bredanensis

Genus Cephalorynchus
Chilean Dolphin, Cephalorhynchus eutropia
Commerson's Dolphin, Cephalorhynchus commersonii
Heaviside's Dolphin, Cephalorhynchus heavisidii
Hector's Dolphin, Cephalorhynchus hectori
Genus Grampus
Risso's Dolphin, Grampus griseus
Genus Lagenodelphis
Fraser's Dolphin, Lagenodelphis hosei
Genus Lagenorhyncus
Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus acutus
Dusky Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus obscurus
Hourglass Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens
Peale's Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus australis
White-Beaked Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus albirostris
Genus Orcaella
Australian Snubfin Dolphin, Orcaella heinsohni
Irrawaddy Dolphin, Orcaella brevirostris
Genus Peponocephala
Melon-headed Whale, Peponocephala electra
Genus Orcinus
Killer Whale (Orca), Orcinus orca
Genus Feresa
Pygmy Killer Whale, Feresa attenuata
Genus Pseudorca
False Killer Whale, Pseudorca crassidens
Genus Globicephala
Long-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala melas
Short-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus
Genus Australodelphis
Australodelphis mirus
Superfamily Platanistoidea
Family Platanistidae
Ganges and Indus River Dolphin, Platanista gangetica with two
subspecies
Ganges River Dolphin (or Susu), Platanista gangetica
gangetica
Indus River Dolphin (or Bhulan), Platanista gangetica minor
Family Iniidae
Amazon River Dolphin (or Boto), Inia geoffrensis
Family Lipotidae
Chinese River Dolphin (or Baiji), Lipotes vexillifer (possibly extinct,
since December 2006)
Family Pontoporiidae
La Plata Dolphin (or Franciscana), Pontoporia blainvillei

Six species in the family Delphinidae are commonly called "whales" but are strictly
speaking dolphins. They are sometimes called blackfish.

Melon-headed Whale, Peponocephala electra


Killer Whale (Orca), Orcinus orca
Pygmy Killer Whale, Feresa attenuata

Wolphin Kawili'Kai at the Sea Life Park in Hawaii.

False Killer Whale, Psudorca crassidens


Long-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala melas
Short-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus

Hybrid dolphins
In 1933, three strange dolphins were beached off the Irish coast; these appeared to be hybrids between
Risso's Dolphin and the Bottlenose Dolphin.[3] This mating has since been repeated in captivity and a
hybrid calf was born. In captivity, a Bottlenose Dolphin and a Rough-toothed Dolphin produced hybrid
offspring.[4] A Common-Bottlenose hybrid lives at SeaWorld California [5] Various other dolphin
hybrids live in captivity around the world or have been reported in the wild, such as a BottlenoseAtlantic Spotted hybrid.[6] The best known hybrid however is the Wolphin, a False Killer WhaleBottlenose Dolphin hybrid. The Wolphin is a fertile hybrid, and two such Wolphins currently live at the
Sea Life Park in Hawaii, the first having been born in 1985 from a male False Killer Whale and a
female Bottlenose. Wolphins have also been observed in the wild.[7]

Dugong

Not to be confused with Dewgong or Dougong

Fossil range: Early EoceneRecent

Conservation status
Vulnerable (mudah diserang) (IUCN 3.1)[2]

Binomial name
Dugong dugon (Mller, 1776)

Natural range of D. dugon.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

Subfamily:

Dugonginae
Simpson, 1932

Phylum:
Class:

Chordata
Mammalia

Genus:

Dugong
Lacpde,
1799

Order:
Family:

Sirenia
Species:
Dugongidae

D. dugon

Gray, 1821

Beruang Kutub

Whale

Sperm Whale

Sperm whales are sociable animals that live in groups. The group structure varies according to the
age and sex of the whale. Males live apart from females. The females form groups together with their
young, numbering from five to 30 animals. There are also smaller bachelor pods of young, nonbreeding whales, as well as much larger groups, consisting of many females, young, and a dominant,
sexually mature bull. The whales, dive, swim, feed, and sleep together within their group. They also
have a language of sonar clicks which they use to communicate. In summer, the whales migrate to
feed in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The sperm whale has been ruthlessly hunted by man for centuries, and continues to be persecuted.
Whalers have taken advantage of the whale's protective instinct, whereby all members of a group will
surround an injured animal in what is known as the Marguerite formation. Whalers harpoon a single
sperm whale to attract other whales who come to its rescue and then kill them as well. Man hunts the
sperm whale for food, and for the oil its blubber provides. It is also hunted for the spermaceti wax
found in its head and for a substance called ambergris, found in its intestines.
Groups of sperm whales begin their migration to the equator from the Arctic and Antarctic every fall
for the winter breeding season. The bulls attempt to form groups of up to 30 adult females. Fierce
fights between males for females are not uncommon. Once the group is established, the bull mates
with any female not already pregnant or with young. After mating, the female gives birth 14-16 months
later. The other females protect her while she is giving birth, and then help the calf to the surface to
take its first breath. The mother feeds her calf with fat-rich milk for as long as two years, by which time
it has grown to a length of about 23 feet.
The sperm whale feeds on bottom-dwelling organisms, such as squid. Sometimes, giant squid put up
such a struggle that scars are made on the whale's head by its tentacles. Scientists are not certain
how the sperm whale catches its prey, but it is believed that the whale stuns it with very loud sound
waves. The sperm whale will also eat snapper, lobster, and even shark. It swallows its prey whole. An
adult whale will eat up to 1 ton of food every day.
Sperm whales live in the oceans of the world in two groups--one migrates north of the equator to the
Arctic and the other south of the equator to the Antarctic. Despite protection from the International
Whaling Commission, numbers have dropped from 170,000 males and slightly fewer females to only
71,000 males and 125,000 females.

Beluga Whale

The beluga is a vocal whale; it makes a lot of different sounds from bird-sounding chirps to mighty
roars. Like all whales, the beluga whale uses these sounds to communicate with each other.. It also
has a all kinds of facial expression; these, too, may be also used for communication. The beluga
whale once roamed the oceans in herds of ten-thousands. Too much hunting by humans hunting has
reduced its numbers. Now large herds of beluga whales gather only when returning to the shallow
waters where they live. Each herd is divided into smaller groups, or pods, of breeding or bachelor
males and females with young. Pods spread out in the places where they feed but join up again for
the yearly migration to the places where they breed.
The beluga hunts in small groups, eating worms, crustaceans, and fish that live in schools or on the
seabed. Working in small groups of five or six, the whales herd their prey into shallow waters, or
toward the shore. The beluga whale "talks" to other whales in the hunting group. The beluga's teeth,
which appear when the mammal is about two to three years old, are not used for feeding, since the
beluga whale swallows its prey whole. All the same, they wear down, probably because the beluga
whale rubs them together to make sounds--another way to communicate. Unlike other kinds of
whales, the beluga has a very flexible neck and is able to move its head from side to side. This
flexibility allows the beluga whale a wide sweep of the ocean floor when hunting for prey. Its flippers
are very flexible too; they enable it to move very easily in all kinds of tight situations, even backwards
if it is necessary.
Mating occurs from April to June. The dominant male mates with more than one female. After the
mating season, the beluga whale migrates south to warmer coastal waters and arrives in June to July.
A female, pregnant from last year's mating, will split into a small nursing pod. She gives birth to one
single calf, who arrives tail first, underwater, and then swims to the surface of the water to breathe.
The newborn calf is grayish brown and turns a lighter gray after a couple of years. It does not turn
white until it becomes an adult. After about a month, when the calf is strong enough, all the beluga
whales migrate back to the colder Arctic waters. The young beluga suckles from its mother for about
two years.
The beluga whale was easy prey for whalers of the nineteenth century. Whalers forced the belugas
onto beaches, stranding them. Thousands of whales died this way. The beluga is no longer killed for
its meat in Western waters, since it contains toxic levels of poisonous marine pollution. Now, the main
threats to its survival are pollution of shallow coastal waters, the building of hydroelectric dams that
alter its habitat, and the widespread disturbance of its breeding grounds.
It lives in the coastal waters of Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of North America, Greenland, Europe and
Asia. Present population of the beluga whale is unknown but thought to be recovering from heaby
causualties as a result of eighteenth and nineteenth century whaling. Modern threats include pollution
and disturbance of breeding grounds.

The Manatee

The manatee, Trichechus manatus, is a grayish-brown, walrus-like animal weighing on average


between 800-1200 pounds and growing approximately 12.7 feet in length. They are mammals, hence
they breathe air, have body hair and nurse their young. Manatees have a round, flattened tail, and 2
front flippers. These flippers are used in steering while swimming, as well as for holding their food.
While underwater, flaps close over their nostrils, to prevent water from interfering with breathing. The
newborn calves range from 3 to 5 feet long, and beginning only several weeks after birth, they start
eating plants such as seagrasses and algae. Manatees are completely harmless and nonaggressive
and are often shy and reclusive. There are approximately 2,247 manatees remaining in the
southeastern U.S. and they are concentrated in Florida year-round. During cold weather, manatees
are attracted to the warm-water discharges of five FPL plants. Approximately 1200 animals have been
counted with serial surveys at these facilities.
The waters throughout the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and the northern coast
of Brazil, as well as peninsular Florida, are home to the West Indian Manatee. Two subspecies of the
West Indian Manatee exist today. One is found only in Florida and the other is located throughout the
northern region of the Caribbean, and the coastal waters of North and South America. In the winter
months, cold weather shortens their northernmost range to Florida, while in the summer time, some
swim as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas. In a few cases, manatees have been observed
to cover over 520 miles, each way, during their migrations. One manatee was known to swim 143
miles in only four days!
Manatee deaths throughout Florida have become an issue of serious concern. The primary causes of
death are collisions with boats, cold weather, and red tides as well as entanglement in fishing line,
loss of habitat, and chemical pollution. These ancient creatures need our help in order to survive into
the next century and beyond.

The Narwhal

The Narwhal is unlike any other cetacean. The male has a long spiralling tusk which is not normally
possessed by the female. The tusk which grows to a length of 1.5-3m (5-10ft) is actually a modified
tooth and looks like a twisted and gnarled walking stick. During the 17th century the Narwhal tusk was
thought to have been the horn of the legendary unicorn. Studies suggest that males engage in
aggressive behavior when competing for females. Scars attributed to tusk action have been found on
the heads of adult males which are more likely to have broken tusks. The Narwhal shares many
physical characteristics with the Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas). They are similar in shape and size,
they have short beaks, rounded heads, lack dorsal fins and have a thick layer of blubber. An adult
Narwhal will grow to a length of 4-5m (13-16ft) and weigh 0.8-1.6 tonnes. The head of the Narwhal is
proportionately small with a bulbous forehead. While almost all males develope a single tusk from the
tooth on the left-hand side of upper jaw, only 3% of females grow a thin tusk. All have a very slight
beak, short flippers and flukes which appear to be on 'backwards'. The Narwhal lives mainly in the
High Arctic, often amongst the pack ice and generally offshore. There are large concentrations in the

Davis Strait, around Baffin Bay and in the Greenland Sea. The advance and retreat of the ice initiates
migration. The Narwhal is seldom found further south than 70 deg North and spends its summer in
deep, cold fjords and bays. The Narwhal has a varied diet, feeding upon squid, fish and crustaceans.
With few functional teeth this animal must use suction and the emission of a jet of water to dislodge
prey such as bottom-living fish and molluscs. Its highly flexible neck aids the scanning of a broad area
and the capture of more moblie prey. Although the Narwhal is preyed upon by Polar Bears, Walruses,
Orcas and a number of sharks its major enemy is man. It has been hunted by the Inuit people for
centuries for its tusk, flesh and other edible parts. Its thick skin is traditionally eated raw as a delicacy,
much of the meat is fed to sled dogs and the blubber is rendered down for heating and lighting. In the
Thule district Narwhal are still traditionally harpooned from kayak but most modern Inuit hunters use
fast motor boats and high-powered rifles. Subsistance hunting communities have a long tradition of
established rules but they clearly need to take account of developments that alter their operation from
an 'aboriginal' manner. The world total for Narwhal's stands at between 25,000 and 45,000 animals.

Elephant seal From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Elephant Seal

Contents
[hide]
1 Appearance
2 Ecology
3 Lifespan
4 Gallery
5 See also
6 References
7 External links

Male and female Northern Elephant Seals

Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Suborder:
Family:
Genus:

Appearance

Animalia
Chordata
Mammalia
Carnivora
Pinnipedia
Phocidae
Mirounga

Species

M. angustirostris
M. leonina
Elephant seals are large, oceangoing seals in the genus Mirounga. There are two species: the
Northern Elephant Seal (M. angustirostris) and the Southern Elephant Seal (M. leonina). Both were
hunted to the brink of extinction by the end of the nineteenth century, but numbers have since
recovered. The Northern Elephant Seal, somewhat smaller than its southern relative, ranges over the
Pacific coast of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The Southern Elephant Seal is found in the southern
hemisphere on islands such as South Georgia, Macquarie Island, and on the coasts of New Zealand,
South Africa, and Argentina in the Peninsula Valds, which is the fourth largest elephant seal colony in
the world.

Male Southern Elephant Seal in Kerguelen Islands

Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult males (bulls) which resembles an
elephant's trunk[1]. The bull's proboscis is used in producing extraordinarily loud roaring noises,
especially during the mating season. More importantly, however, the nose acts as a sort of rebreather,
filled with cavities designed to reabsorb moisture from the animals' exhalations. This is important
during the mating season when the male seals rarely leave the beach to feed, and therefore must
conserve body moisture, as they have no incoming source of water. Bulls of both the northern elephant
seal and the southern elephant seal reach a length of 16 ft (5 m) and a weight of 6,000 lb (2,700 kg),
and are much larger than the cows, which typically measure about 10 ft (3 m) and 2,000 lb (900 kg)[2]
[3]
. The largest known bull elephant seal weighed 11,000 lb (5,000 kg) and measured 6.9 m (22.5 ft) in
length. This makes the elephant seal the largest member of the order Carnivora.

Ecology

Male Northern Elephant Seals fighting in California

Elephant seals spend upwards to 80 percent of their lives in the ocean. They can hold their breath for
over 120 minuteslonger than any other non-cetacean mammal. Elephant seals dive to 1550 m
beneath the ocean's surface[4][5] (the deepest recorded dive of an Elephant Seal is 1,581m by a male in
1989[6]). The average depth of their dives is about 300 to 600 meters, typically for around 20 min for
females and 60 min (1 hour) for males, as they search for their favorite foods, which are skates, rays,
squid, octopuses, eels, penguin (Southerns only), and small sharks. Their stomachs also often contain
gastroliths. While excellent swimmers, they are even more surprising on land, where they have a
higher velocity than the average human when moving over sand dunes.
Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold by their blubber, more so than by fur. The animals' hair
and outer layers of skin molt periodically. The skin has to be re-grown by blood vessels reaching
through the blubber. When molting occurs, the seal is susceptible to the cold, and must rest on land, in
a safe place called a "haul-out." While the molt is taking place the bulls cease fighting with one another
as there are not breeding harems and females in estrous to protect. In fact, northern males haul out in
August, and females in May-June.
Elephant seals have evolved to have a very large volume of blood, allowing them to hold a large
amount of oxygen for use when diving. They have large sinuses in their abdomens to hold blood and
can also store oxygenated blood in their muscles with increased myoglobin concentrations in muscle.
In addition they have a larger proportion of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. All these adaptions enable
them to dive for periods up to two hours.[7]

[edit] Lifespan
Female elephant seals have an average life expectancy of about 23 years, and can give birth starting at
the age of 4-5. Males reach maturity at five years, but generally don't achieve alpha status until the age
of 8, with the prime breeding years being between ages 9 and 12. The average life expectancy of a
male elephant seal is 20 years.[8] Only 1 in 10 males will become an alpha or beta male.

[edit] Gallery
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mirounga angustirostris

Elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris)


on a beach, San Simeon, California

Northern Elephant Seals during moulting


season near San Simeon, California, USA