Friday, January 10, 2014

Elephant Seal Pups Steal the Show

January 2014
Piedras Blancas Northern Elephant Seal Rookery
Central Coast of California

It's birthing time for the northern elephant seals.

Pregnant mothers make a 2500 mile swim to this beach so that they can give safe birth to their pup.
This pregnant female just arrived or "hauled out"

Each mother gives birth to just one pup. The pup weighs about 60 or 80 pounds at birth.
Pups are born with soft, black fur.
Mother northern elephant seals provide some of the richest milk around for their pups.  The pup must gain about 10 pounds each day for four weeks.
Pups gain 10 pounds a day from Mom's milk!
See how much this pup grew in just a few weeks!
This fella hasn't missed a meal in about 3-weeks.
The mothers and pups live in a "harem" -- or with 20-40 other females and pups and one big adult male.
See the big male on the right side.
The adult male is about the size of a small pickup truck.  He spends most of his time foraging near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.  But now he'll spend about 90 days with the females and pups.
The big male vocalizing

Can you tell the difference between the male, female & pup?.

No comments:

Post a Comment