South Atlantic Elephant Seal

(Mirounga leonina)


South Atlantic Elephant Seal IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

There is a great difference in size and weight between males and females: average male weight is around 2200 kg (maximum over 4,000 kg) and a length of 4.2 m (maximum 6.2 m). Females are about five times smaller than males: the females average weights about 700-1000 kg and has a length of about 3 m. The colour of the fur in both sexes is from dark grey to brown with a lighter chest. Pups are born with dark brown-black fur, which they will molt about 1 month later for a shorter coat of gray hair.

Did you know?
that the South Atlantic Elephant Seal is the largest member of the order carnivora?


Name (Scientific) Mirounga leonina
Name (English) South Atlantic Elephant Seal
Name (French) El├ęphant de mer du sud
Name (German) S├╝dlicher See-Elefant
Name (Spanish) Elefante marino del sur
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
B. Navez



Range Sub-Antarctic regions. Main breeding grounds are several subantarctic islands.
Habitat On the coasts of sub-Antarctic islands, on beaches of sand or small rocks. They feed in deep water, mainly on squid and fish.
Wild population About 650,000 in the mid 90's (IUCN Red List 2011)
Zoo population Non reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

South Atlantic Elephant Seal


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 76 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Jerzy Strzelecki

Why do zoos keep this animal

The South Atlantic elephant seal is of educational interest because it is the largest seal and largest member of the order carnivora, and because of its interesting lifestyle. In addition, it is a good ambassador species for marine conservation.