Thursday, January 6, 2011
Año Nuevo Beach Scene
The density of elephant seals in the breeding colony at Año Nuevo State Reserve is pretty interesting. Here you can see a group of mothers with their pups (the cute little black ones) together on the beach. They more or less stay about one biting-distance away from each other, and we saw a few arguments break out between females that got too close to another one's pup. Likely there would be one beachmaster bull that has control of this harem, although other bulls will stay around the edges to take advantage of an opportunity, should it arise. This likely also accounts for when the seals stay so close, since the male will herd the females together into his territory on the beach. The pups are awfully cute when they are born, and soon enough they'll be over 300 pounds! I wrote a short post about their amazing first few months with some close-up shots of the pups in a previous post, if you are interested.