elephant seals

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

At first, it just looks like a beach strewn with boulders. But then you realize that the "boulders" are occasionally moving…flipping sand into the air, making noises, rolling over…um, giving birth??

Okay, this first guy is a certainly not giving birth…nor is he rolling over or doing much of anything. Peak mating season isn't for another few weeks, so apparently he's resting up.

These girls look to be having some territory issues? Or maybe just having a friendly chat…

Some sand flipping in action…

Mama & baby just chillin'

Elephant seals nurse for about a month, during which time the mothers are fasting and losing about 1/3 of their body weight, while the baby is quadrupling her weight. Amazing.

This is just a small section of the rookery where these seals come each year to give birth and mate. Strewn with seals.

These last three are of the same mama and her pup. I'm guessing he was pretty brand-new.

If you're curious for more info, check out the friends of the elephant seals website here.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Those are amazing photos! How close were you (or, what lens were you using)???

I definitely have to show these to Seth & Katrina as they learned about seals, rookeries, etc., in their science earlier in the school year.