Nicole Marie Teutschel at Long Marine Lab, Santa Cruz, CA--As adult northern elephant seals are at sea, juveniles dominate the beaches at Año Nuevo. Most TOPP E Seal research focuses on adult animals, this fall there was we partnered with Sean Hayes at NOAA to test some new tagging technology with a biologging study with juvenile E Seals.
Nicole Marie Teutschel at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA-- Last winter 5 female weanling elephant seals were satellite tagged at Año Nuevo State Reserve in Northern California. Elephant seal weanlings are only 27 days old at weaning, and fast for 1-2 months before leaving the warm sand at Año Nuevo for the cold, harsh North Pacific Ocean.
Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- Looking around the harems at Año Nuevo this time of year you see fighting males, females leaving the beach, and pups constantly being weaned. However, few weaners are hanging around the harems...where do the rest of the weaners go?
Weaners are what we call E Seal pups after they've been weaned. Pups are born and nursed for only 27 days before their mother simply takes off, often while the pups are fast asleep. Thus leaving the weaners to fend for themselves on the beach.
Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- The beaches are looking more empty everyday because the females are coming into estrous, weaning their pups, and returning to sea. So far 18 of 23 new satellite tags have been deployed, allowing us to not only watch the beaches clear out, but the ocean come alive as we recive satellite hits from the new set of tagged seals as they swim into the North Pacific.
Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- There's news from the beach! The oldest E Seal to give birth at Año Nuevo State Reserve is is 23 year old G959. G959 was flipper tagged as an adult in 1990. Tagged as an adult means that she was at least 4 years old at the time of tagging. Counting back, G959 is at least 23 years old!
Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- The latest news from Penelope is... her pup is a boy! Penelope, wore satellite tags last winter as a part of TOPP’s elephant seal tagging program. Penelope had her tags recovered, or removed, about one year ago.
Nicole Marie Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA--Stelephant Colbert was featured in a segment on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Stelephant Colbert is an adult male elephant seal named after Stephen Colbert, of the Report. Last night Stephen Colbert acknowledged Stelephant, and then proceeded to declare his hideousness.
Stelephant has yet to comment on last night's attack on his impressive proboscis (or large nose).
Hey! I'm famous! Check me out online.
Elephant seals are on primetime television! This week NBC nightly news covered a piece on the new oceans feature in the latest edition of Google Earth. With Ocean in Google Earth you can explore the oceans and learn about all sorts of organisms in it, such as elephant seals!
Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA--Penelope has once again graced Año Nuevo State Reserve with her presence! After another long foraging trip at sea, Penelope has returned to give birth to her 7th pup. Last winter Penelope was returning to shore wearing satellite, time depth recorder, and vhf tags. Penelope's tags were recovered shortly after she had her pup.