Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Male Elephant Seal Time Once Again

Elephant seals are known for their amazing ability to sleep at any time. Of course, sleeping marine mammals isn't what people are particularly keen to see. But when the BIG male elephant seals occupy beaches in central California at this time of year, they're mainly there for some R&R as their old fur slowly peels off so it can be replaced by a spanking new one.
Of course, the interminable 'dominancy' fighting also takes place on a regular basis much to the delight of excited onlookers.
In the Water

..and on Land

At this time of year though, the fighting doesn't draw blood as in the winter months when they're establishing territory or mating rights. Of course, scientists can only guess at why male elephant seals tussle endlessly with one another. Maybe it's simply to climb up the hierarchal ladder, or maybe it's an old beef from a previous encounter, or maybe it's just plain dislike of another, or maybe it's just a case of the grumpies.
Whatever the case may be, the larger male elephant seals will be on their favorite central California beaches for most of the summer leaving after this respite for yet another bout of feeding to get ready for the all-important winter months ashore.

Click here for photos of some of the almost unbelievably large adult male elephant seals as they go about their daily routines.

Click here to see a cute video of an adult male checking me out...and wondering what I am.