Nature Blows My Mind! The Extreme Abilities of Elephant Seals

Breathe? Who Needs to Breathe?

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elephant seal photo

credit: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Elephant seals spend as much as 80 percent of their lives at sea, which means they'd better excel at diving. And they do! They are the most extreme divers of all seals, with the ability to hold their breath for over 100 minutes! However, that's not the norm. Females typically dive for an average of 20 minutes, while males dive for an average of 60 minutes. Still, even their average is impressive.

It's not just how long elephant seals can stay underwater that is mind-blowing, it's also how deep they can dive.

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