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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Elephant Seal

Back on the summer solstice, I heard about this molting elephant seal hauled out on a beach in American Camp along the south side of the island. Every summer elephant seals shed their thick layer of fur, and prefer to stay on land during this time. This seal was almost done molting, as you can see one of the last patches of winter fur on its side. Usually, elephant seals breed and molt off the California coast, but individuals who don't expect to breed in a given year (like this juvenile) often migrate as far north as Alaska to feed and beef up for next season. We only occasionally see solitary individuals in the San Juans, and rarely hauled out like this one was. This photo makes me think of the seal saying "feed me!" as it's been out of the water, and hence without food, for many days. (Really, though, it was yawning and stretching.)

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

That is an amazing shot! It almost looks like it is pointing and saying 'feed me' !!!