elephant seal

noun

Definition of elephant seal 

: either of two very large seals (genus Mirounga of the family Phocidae) characterized by a long inflatable proboscis:

a : one (M. angustirostris) found in Pacific coastal waters from southeastern Alaska to Baja California

b : one (M. leonina) found in coastal waters of subantarctic islands and Patagonia

Examples of elephant seal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In total, Fedak and the crew tagged seven elephant seals found on dry beaches near Pine Island. Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 The road closure has forced visitors from the north, hoping to take scenic Highway 1 to reach such favorite sites as the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas and San Simeon, to cut inland. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, "Highway 1 set to reopen in September," 30 May 2018 The scientists had found the perfect place to conduct their research: Southeast Farallon Island, a remote outpost 30 miles due west of the Golden Gate Bridge, where each autumn a large population of great white sharks gather to hunt elephant seals. Susan Casey, Outside Online, "Susan Casey on Seeing Her First Great White Shark," 11 July 2018 The barcodes also suggested the early New Zealanders hunted fur seals, sea lions, and elephant seals. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Ancient seafarers may have hunted whales around the world," 10 July 2018 The five-year effort will use tools ranging from radar devices dragged across the ice to image the glacier’s interior to autonomous underwater vehicles to sensors attached to elephant seals. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Antarctic Quest Seeks to Predict the Fate of a Linchpin Glacier," 14 May 2018 Here's a look at what the elephant seals and their pups are up to. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "This adorable seal pup was spotted on NC beach. Now warnings are being issued.," 22 Jan. 2018 This abundance of food draws in sea lions, harbor seals and, more rarely, elephant seals, which breed at Año Nuevo to the south. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area coast’s secret haunt for great white sharks," 22 Jan. 2018 But its accumulation in the blood helps elephant seals make deep dives in the ocean, researchers reported here last week at the biennial meeting of the Marine Mammal Society. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Killer gas aids elephant seals’ deep dives," 1 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elephant seal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elephant seal

1839, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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The first known use of elephant seal was in 1839

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