Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Weaners on the Move
The weaned pups, AKA weaners, are definitely in the majority on the local elephant seal beaches as March passes St. Patty's Day and the First Day of Spring.
Click here for more photos of weaners.
Even though you might see plenty of weaners sleeping away their hours preserving precious stores of mom's fatty milk, you will also see many of these eager and curious youthful elephant seals bouncing around the beaches interacting with one another and honing their water skills in tide pools, creeks and the shallows. They are very social and very alert as they explore everything around them, constantly verbally communicating and often staring curiously at passers-by, human or otherwise.
Click here to see video of weaner activity on land.
Click here to see weaner activity in the water.
Starting to join these social groups of weaners are the first of the tan-colored yearlings as well as two-and three-year-olds. Even quite a few of the brown-to-tan colored adult females have ventured ashore after having replenished the weight lost during birthing, nursing, and mating.
Click here to see photos of other elephant seal goings-on.
From late March through June, large groups of youngsters and adult females will be populating the beaches of Elephant Seal Land to get some R and R during their month long stay, with some of them looking rather ragged as they endure the molting process.
The molting that elephant seals experience on a yearly basis is known as a catastrophic molt because they completely shed their old fur once their new gray one becomes ready for use.