Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Strange and Unusual CA creature

While this creature isn't located only in California, it is still very unique! My class has been learning about them for weeks now, and we finally took a field trip to go and see them. The males of this species can weigh up to 3 tons and the females, 2 1/2 tons. Their babies weigh 75 lbs at birth and can weigh up to 600 lbs once they've weaned! That's because their mother's milk ends up with 55% fat content by the end of her nursing period. Imagine that! (If you're wondering, I now also know that they can hold their breath for up to an hour if they need to, that males fight for control over a harem, that the males fight for dominancy, and that the large nose is seen as a sign of strength in the males. Aren't you impressed by my 4th grade knowledge?)

So....what are these?

An adolescent male resting on the outskirts of the dunes, away from the crowd

A harem with a few males on the outskirts

mom and pup

A male showing his dominance

a male on the move

The day was beautiful and we all had a blast. We did a total of 3 miles of walking, which was nice. I was in charge of half our class and didn't loose anyone, which made me very thankful :)

A beautiful view from the visitor's center

Small hikers on the trails

Sand dunes and ocean

Winter plants

Beautiful beach


Anonymous said...

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Jean said...

Wow, those are some big critters! Looks like a fun field trip on a gorgeous day. Fantastic pictures, as always, Addy!

Sarah said...

Beautiful day! But those elephant seals sure are ugly. : )

Donald said...

Crap! Sarah beat me to it. Those things are all over the place around our coastline.

rick said...

I wish I was doing that right now, laying about in a beach somewhere. Wish it was May already where the days are longer and warmer. How was the visit to the doctor's?