Thursday, August 30, 2012

Youngsters Starting to Come Ashore

Unlike last year, as August draws to a close, almost all of the big male elephant seals have already set off in search of food.

Click here for photos of some of these big males as they went about their daily business before leaving in search of food.

And click here to see adult male elephant seals in their underwater environment.

So far only a few of the next group of 'vacationers' have ventured ashore. These first early-bird arrivals of the Fall Haul-Out are some of this year's weaners and youngsters, born 2-3 years ago.

Click here to see photos of these early arrivals.

Although some of these young elephants seals of both sexes are relaxing and sleeping, some of the more energetic puppy-like young males are already getting into dominance bouts of playful wrestling.

Click here for video of young males play-wrestling.

A few of the more adventuresome young males, on the other hand, like to test themselves by engaging slightly older male members of the group in challenges. Instead of being really aggressive, these older young males, however, tend to usually act amused and take it easy on these upstart youngsters.

Click here to see video of youngsters challenging slightly older elephant seals in a narrow inlet.

In the coming weeks, as the Fall Haul-Out gets into full swing, more and more youngsters will come ashore to relax and wrestle, and along with them, will also come some pregnant adult females and sub-adult males. ( The Fall Haul-Out usually lasts from September into November. )

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