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 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-- 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.
Luis Huckstadt at Punta Arenas, Chile--We are finally back to civilization after a successful field season at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica. I'm happy to report that we accomplished our goal of deploying 15 satellite tags on southern elephant seals (see Cool Cousins). This work could not have been done without the great crew that helped us at the Cape Shirreff camp.
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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 Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA-- Today we were busy at North Point, one of the north most harems at Año Nuevo State Reserve in Northern California. In addition to recovering a satellite tag, we were also resighting.
Erin Pickett at UC Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab--You are what you eat, and well, so are elephant seals. At least as far as whiskers go- whisker composition changes with diet. There are a few biologists in the Costa lab studying diet using stable isotopes of whiskers. Last Spring five satellite tagged females were given a dose of an amino acid called glycine. Glycine is found naturally in the proteins of animals. Glycine made in the lab is full of nitrogen 15, a heavier version of a seal's biosynthesized nitrogen.
Nicole Marie Teutschel Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA-- Sebastian the elephant seal big, tough, and instead of answering to alpha, he IS the alpha. Sebastian is an adult male elephant seal satellite tagged by TOPP last summer. Since, he has come ashore in a big way: Sebastian is the alpha male of his harem in Bight Beach North. Sound familiar? Bight Beach North is the Harem where Poppy had her pup.
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: