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Creature Feature. Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)

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Presentation on theme: "Creature Feature. Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Creature Feature

2 Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)

3 Mammals – Hair – Mammary glands Derive their name from the large proboscis on males Used to make loud noises during mating competitions Males can grow to 14 ft and 5,000 lbs Females are smaller (11 ft and 1400lbs)

4 Seven principal breeding areas, four of which are on islands off the coast of California

5 Breeding! Returns to its terrestrial breeding ground in December and January Males arrive first and fight out breeding territory – Lots of bloodshed and injury – Few males actually breed Females arrive and select a male Lifetime reproduction potential of a female is about ten pups Bulls have a harem of females – 30 to 100 cows depending on the size and strength of the bull – In a lifetime a successful bull could easily sire over 500 pups

6 Conservation Hunted for their blubber By the end of the 19 th Century population fell to between 100-1000 individuals Protected since the early 20 th Century Genetic bottleneck – Susceptible to El Nino and resulting weather conditions Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) – Numbers have recovered to ~100,000 individuals – In CA the population continues to grow ~25% each year

7 Video! QJGY

8 Creature Feature

9 Weedy Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)

10 Marine fish related to the seahorse 45 cm in length Swim in shallow reefs and weed beds Resemble drifting weed when moving over bare sand Lack a prehensile tail that enables similar species to clasp and anchor themselves

11 Found in water 3 to 50 m deep around the southern coastline of Australia

12 Male of the species carries the fertilized eggs – Attached under his tail – Incubated for about eight weeks Suck food into the end of their long tube-like snout Feed on tiny crustaceans and other zooplankton from crevices in reefs

13 Conservation Listed as Near Threatened by the World Conservation Union Pollution and Industrial Runoff Collected by divers Washed ashore by storms

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