Saturday, May 19, 2012
Adult Female Bonding
As May passes the mid-way mark, many of the adult females that have been quietly resting and bonding with other female beach-goers on their chosen female-only central California beaches have recently picked up the pace of their usual bickering and jostling.
Since resuming their argumentative tactics, I've been afforded numerous opportunities to capture many close-up photos immortalizing the amazing mouth and tongue actions of these feisty females.
Click here for these fascinating photos.
Now that most of the females have already shed their old and dried-out brown-colored fur, it seems as though the time is fast approaching for them to go fishing sporting their brand new sleek gray fur. Maybe their aggressive behavior signals that they're psyching themselves up in preparation for the tough hunting times in their immediate future.
Click here for photos of their current behavior.
If the scientists are correct, then all of these masses of adult females are pregnant once again, and the fetuses that they carry will now rapidly start to grow as the females get their fill of plenty of good seafood in their Pacific hunting grounds.
Even though scientists are of the belief that elephant seals don't eat when they come to the central coast of California, the strong fishy smell emanating from them is often very prevalent when they first come ashore. Judging by this fishy smell and my observations of the searching/hunting behavior elephant seals exhibit in the shallow coastal waters coupled with watching them snack on tide-pool inhabitants as well as seaweed strongly suggests to me that elephant seals do indeed eat, at least a little, while here.
Click here for video of female action.
As the females are readying themselves to 'push off', the sub-adult males are starting to show up but are remaining offshore well away from the nipping, feisty females. Instead of trying to share the beach with these aggressive females, they're choosing to stay a little ways out as they relax and keep track of who's approaching by doing their bottling maneuvers. ( Bottling is floating and keeping their noses pointing skyward. )