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Feeding Habits and Feeding Grounds of the Northern Elephant Seal

Richard Condit, Burney J. Le Boeuf
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1381167 281-290 First published online: 31 May 1984


Prey species consumed by northern elephant seals were identified from the stomach and throat contents of dead seals and from observations of prey captured. Their diet is catholic, consisting of a variety of pelagic, deep water squid, Pacific hake, sharks, rays, and ratfish. Feeding grounds of elephant seals were inferred from sightings of tagged elephant seals at non-rookery locations. Feeding areas extended from northern Baja California to northern Vancouver Island. Juveniles of both sexes and adult males moved north from their haul out sites in search of food, travelling furthest north during the summer. A few sightings suggested that adult females remain in the vicinity of the rookeries where they breed.

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