Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Bulging proboscis amplifies sound: southern elephant seal


Proboscis of southern elephant seal / Jérôme / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

The proboscis of the male elephant seal amplifies calls by bulging using a combination of air, blood, and muscle.

"Another species in which the male sports an exaggerated nose is the elephant seal, largest of all seals at 5-6 m long and up to 3500 kg in weight. The huge, bulging nose of the mature male is used during the breeding season, when the seals gather in vast herds on the shores of California or the South Atlantic islands. The proboscis of the mature male bulges with the combined efforts of blood, muscle and air, and amplifies his defiant bellowing at other males." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:136)

About the inspiring organism
Southern Elephant Seal
Mirounga leonina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name: southern sea elephant

Habitat(s): Marine Coastal/Supratidal, Marine Intertidal, Marine Neritic, Marine Oceanic
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Micro-devices for amplifying or dampening sound waves, amplification applications for hearing aids, wireless device signal amplification.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Communications, acoustics, medical, entertainment

Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  


Login to Post a Comment.

No comments found.