These huge seals are superb hunters and athletes in the sea — on land, not so much.
Elephant seals come ashore to breed and give birth in the winter and to molt, shedding their fur and top layer of skin. When not doing this, they’re out to sea traveling in search of food. This video from KQED’s Quest gives a good overview of their natural history.
Elephant seals spend 80 percent of their lives in the open sea, from Mexico to Alaska, in search of food. 90 percent of that time is spent underwater: eating, digesting, resting briefly, and traveling. When they forage during their migrations, they don’t sleep. They cat nap.