Saturday, February 24, 2007

San Simeon's Elephant Seals

While we have visited San Simeon before and enjoyed the elephant seals, this time of year is spectacular. On other trips, the bull elephant seals just layed around sleeping. This is mating season and the bulls are the most energetic I've ever seen them. Between young bulls trying to get their opportunity with the ladies and the older bulls chasing them off, there is a lot of drama.

The male elephant seals are significantly larger than the females. It is astonishing how rapidly they can move across the sand, the muscles in their torses undulating. And it is funny they rush across the sand to protect their territory and then collapse and rest long enough to recover their strength.

The big guys pay no attention to the pups that may still be nursing - the pups have to move quickly to avoid getting squished.
Sometimes the fights between the males continue out in the ocean as a male escorts his lady friend out to sea.

And there are tender moments when both the guy and the girl look content.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I love this last picture here.