Friday, January 7, 2011

Aggressive and Domineering Alpha Males in Action

Although off to a sleepy start earlier this season, the large adult males are now competing with the sub-adult males as to who can be more aggressive as the birthing season is getting into full swing.

Usually the large males wait for the females to enter into heat before attempting to mate. ( Three weeks after the pup is born, females are in heat for about a week. ) This year, however, it seems to be more about dominance, as males of all ages are attempting to take possession of any female or youngster on shore or in the shallows. This act of aggression/dominance is also happening to females who have just given birth.

Even though more females have come ashore, their numbers seem currently to be less than in years prior, whereas the males appear to be more than plentiful.

So far, the pups look robust and healthy, and their moms are doing a great job of fiercely protecting them from other elephant seals as well as the cold waters of the Pacific.

Click here for more photos.

Click here to check out my YouTube Elephant Seal Video Channel.

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