Where are the weaners!?

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.

Jon Sealwart Everybody!! Today, Can Loser Males Have Hope Too??

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...

Penelope Returns!

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.

The Secrets of an Elephant Seal Whisker

 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.

Tagged Males Defend Harems

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.

Back at the Lab!

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:

 

First Two Deployments Down, Only Twenty More to Go!

 Erin Pickett at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA--The E Seal Team found themselves hard at work on the beach on Saturday, deploying not only the first, but the second set of satellite tags of the '09 breeding season! The first two lucky female Elephant Seals (along with the next twenty) were chosen specifically for tagging.

This is The Smelly Show with Jon Sealwart

Patrick Webster at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- Hi everybody! Welcome to The Smelly Show! My name is Jon Sealwart and… "Applause" Thank you, thank you. Oh come on now, thank you, you're very kind. I guess this what happens when you spike the calamartinis. Thank you. For those of you at home, that was just the beach sneezing… They're not happy to be here, just congested. OK.

 

Stelephant Colbert is Baaaaaaack!

Patrick Webster at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA--TONIGHT, I, Stelephant Colbert, have returned to the North Point at Año Nuevo State Reserve in Northern California. The Liberal Beta-Male Media doesn’t know what hit it! Next, I will set about reforming the broken harem system within the next hundred days. Look out FDR, my New Deal will shake up America, mostly because I’ve been feeding for the past 6 months. And later, I confront Alby Lockwing, an albatross spokesbird claiming that elephant seals should adopt monogamy.

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