Longest dive by a mammal
Last updated: January 1, 2018 at 17:19 pm
80 min – The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) can hold its breath longer than any other mammal when it dives as deep as 1,530 m (5,015 ft) in the search for food.
Female elephant seals forage in the open ocean, while male elephant seals forage along the continental shelf. Males usually dive straight down to the ocean floor and stay at the bottom foraging for benthic prey. The females hunt for pelagic prey in the open ocean, and dive deeper and stay down longer than the males. Northern elephant seals eat a variety of prey, including pelagic, deep-water squid, Pacific hake, pelagic crustaceans, sharks, rays, and ratfish. Elephant seals do not need to drink, as they get their water from food and metabolism of fats.¹