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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,13:41   

Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Feb. 12 2008,13:20)
Finally got out to Point Reyes to see the elephant seals. So cool. Most of the action was over a few weeks ago. ("The action" being the fighting and dominance displays between the bull males for the prime spots and the biggest harem.) There were about 200 females on the beach, divided into (I think) three harems. The big-daddy alpha bull was 20 feet long if he was an inch. The docent at the viewing site (overlooking the beach) said they were estimating he was about 5000 pounds. There were some younger males hanging around, too (poor guys --most of them, after getting sand kicked in their faces, depart to other, nearby, beaches), and I actually saw a fight between two. Not sure why they were fighting, since the prizes were all spoken for. And it wasn't two alpha-males going at it, but still quite impressive. Two 15 to 17 foot long, 4000 lb. beasts makes for quite a bout. Very interesting creatures that you don't see every day. And a nice day on Point Reyes, which it almost never is.

Wow!  I didn't know that elephant seals had made it to Point Reyes; when I was in grad school they weren't any further north than Ano Nuevo. And that was in the days when you could walk on the mainland beach, strewn with bachelor males who got kicked off the island. Probably not the brightest thing I ever did... Here's a pic from those days, ca 1974-75.

Don'cha just love those cute eyebrows?

Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

  2219 replies since Jan. 24 2008,14:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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