What Do Elephant Seals Eat?


The two species of elephant seals, northern and southern, are mammals that spend most of their time in the ocean.

Diet Type

Elephant seals are carnivores, dining on the ample marine life in the ocean.


Northern elephant seals live off the coast of California, northern Washington and British Columbia. They dive up to 2,000 feet under the sea to feed on animals such as rays, squid and small sharks.


Southern elephant seals live in the waters of Antarctica where they feed on squid, many types of fish and other aquatic creatures.


Elephant seals give birth to one pup each year. The pup nurses for about one month on the mother's milk that is 55 percent fat. The mother seal does not eat while she is nursing her pup; the energy from her blubber sustains her for the month of nursing.

Weaning Pups

After a month or so of nursing, the pups quickly learn to swim and, due to the abrupt abandonment of their mothers, to hunt and survive alone.

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