Friday, December 30, 2011

2011-2012 Birthing Season Is Upon Us

So far, this season is proving to be quite different from those of recent years as the usual often-seen bloody testosterone-driven territorial fights during the month of December haven't materialized.

Click here to see a video of the only truly bloody fight I've witnessed so far.

Instead, those adult male elephant seals that did come ashore starting in the early part of December came mainly just to rest and then move somewhere else. In the later part of December, some challenges were issued, but very few rose up to test their prowess.

Click here to see a video of some of this year's adult male early beahvior.

In regards to the females, first there were none on the birthing beaches, then only a handful could be seen around the middle of the month. Now, as December draws to a close, not only have many very pregnant females shown up on the smaller birthing beaches, but quite a few are also quickly giving birth to their adorable black pups. However, the normally huge numbers of pregnant females are still conspicuously absent from the big birthing beaches where they've always tended to show up first.

Click here to see video of a gentle giant.

The pregnant females that have arrived have had their flippers specially full this month dealing with the many energetic amorous younger males who are looking to mate with anyone of any age they can coerce into it. Interestingly enough, though, the alpha male will, for the most part, let the females show their skill at getting rid of these ardent younger males. Some of these new mothers have proven to be unusually vicious in defending themselves and their pups from unwanted attention this month.

Click here to see video of females in ferocious defense.

Click here to see photos from the past couple of weeks.

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