Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pups, Weaners, and Mating

Pup Pleading with Mom for More Milk

With the 2013 birthing season drawing to a close, a few young pups can still be observed suckling on the beaches. However, mostly you can see pups that were born 2 to 3 weeks ago along with the increasing numbers of weaners AKA weaned pups as the moms quickly dash off to feed leaving their offspring to fend for themselves.

Super Weaner

Click here to see video of some super weaners in action.

Super Weaner next to a Couple of Regular Size Weaners

Sand-flipping seems to be an instinctive behavior, not limited to sand. When on land, elephant seals will at times toss pebbles, seaweed or water on their backs. I believe that this behavior is an off-shoot from when they're in the ocean and want to be left alone or escape whatever is bothering them. The backwards scooping action of the fore-flipper is the same both on land and in the sea. On land the flying debris definitely acts as a deterrent or signals a displeasure on the part of the flipping elephant seal. The art of sand-flipping can be seen even in young pups.  ( Maybe they even believe they become invisible by this action !? )

Elephant seals, like many other animals and birds, have nictating eyelids that they can quickly move across their big eyes as protection. Another form of protection for their eyes when on land is the oil secretions that lubricate and constantly wash irritating particles away.

Click here to see more of the current local visitors.

And who says elephant seals don't experience feelings ?

" Oh, my gosh ! "

No comments:

Post a Comment