Molly McCormley at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA--Today’s day in the life blog is about weaners! Weaners are what we call pups after they have been weaned. In just a few short weeks they have gone from around 75 pounds to 300 pounds!
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!
Erin Pickett at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA-- The E Seal team at Ano isn't so sure about Jon's future as an alpha, or a beta for that matter. Come to think of it, if the hierarchy of male elephant seals were classified to go lower, Jon would be lower than that. Recently, he hasn't even been spotted sleeping with other losers. Instead he rests completely alone amidst sand, driftwood, and the occasional smudge of seagull poop. It's almost as if he was called hideous on national TV. Oh wait! That was Stelephant...
Stelephant Colbert at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab -- TONIGHT! Stephen Colbert devotes a segment to your very own Stelephant Colbert. And seagulls thought elephant seals couldn’t get any bigger. Next, I provide you a teaser into my captivating life. Don’t blink - HA! - now you have sand in your eyes! Then, an irresistible force comes on the show to argue a point. This immovable object can’t wait for the ensuing philosophical battle.
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).
Ashley Pearson at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- The E Seal Team spends a lot of time on the beach resighting, tagging, weighing, measuring, and collecting samples. However, the E Seal Team's day doesn't end when we leave the beautiful Año Nuevo State Reserve coastlines. Back to the lab we enter loads of data! In the field we keep track of seals that we have seen so that we can enter it into our databases. We use the databases to track information like:
Molly McCormley at UC Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab-- They are MIGHTY, they are GNARLEY, they are PROUD, they ARE….losers. Male elephant seals can have a tough life! Only 1 out of 10 males get to become alpha, or kings of their own harem of females. The others are left to become beta males (big males that are second to alpha), sneaker males (males who inch their way into harems under alpha's radar) and the losers.
Ashley Pearson at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA-- Last Thursday we went to recover Featherfoot’s tags from Año Nuevo only to find that someone else had already claimed them...A populations of barnacles had attached themselves to her head and back tags giving her some pieces of flair to show off!