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A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California Sea otter, swimming at the ocean surface, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter, resting on its back, holding its paw out of the water for warmth.  While the sea otter has extremely dense fur on its body, the fur is less dense on its head, arms and paws so it will hold these out of the cold water to conserve body heat, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California
A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough. Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone. Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs.
Image ID: 21622  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
Sea otter, swimming at the ocean surface.
Image ID: 21623  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter, resting on its back, holding its paw out of the water for warmth. While the sea otter has extremely dense fur on its body, the fur is less dense on its head, arms and paws so it will hold these out of the cold water to conserve body heat.
Image ID: 21624  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
Sea otters, resting on the surface by lying on their backs, in a group known as a raft, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter, resting and floating on its back, in Elkhorn Slough, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter, resting on its back, grooms the fur on its head.  A sea otter depends on its fur to keep it warm and afloat, and must groom its fur frequently, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California
Sea otters, resting on the surface by lying on their backs, in a group known as a raft.
Image ID: 21625  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter, resting and floating on its back, in Elkhorn Slough.
Image ID: 21626  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter, resting on its back, grooms the fur on its head. A sea otter depends on its fur to keep it warm and afloat, and must groom its fur frequently.
Image ID: 21627  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter, resting on its back, grooms the fur on its head.  A sea otter depends on its fur to keep it warm and afloat, and must groom its fur frequently, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California Sea otters, resting on the surface by lying on their backs, in a group known as a raft, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter mother hold her pup on her stomach as she rests floating on her back.  This pup, just a few days old, probably weighs between 3 and 5 pounds.  The pup still has the fluffy fur it was born with, which traps so much fur the pup cannot dive and floats like a cork, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California
A sea otter, resting on its back, grooms the fur on its head. A sea otter depends on its fur to keep it warm and afloat, and must groom its fur frequently.
Image ID: 21628  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
Sea otters, resting on the surface by lying on their backs, in a group known as a raft.
Image ID: 21635  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter mother hold her pup on her stomach as she rests floating on her back. This pup, just a few days old, probably weighs between 3 and 5 pounds. The pup still has the fluffy fur it was born with, which traps so much fur the pup cannot dive and floats like a cork.
Image ID: 21636  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter mother pulls her days-old pup through the water.  The pup still has the fluffy fur it was born with, which traps so much fur the pup cannot dive and floats like a cork, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter resting, holding its paws out of the water to keep them warm and conserve body heat as it floats in cold ocean water, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter, looking at the photographer as it forages for food in Elkhorn Slough, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California
A sea otter mother pulls her days-old pup through the water. The pup still has the fluffy fur it was born with, which traps so much fur the pup cannot dive and floats like a cork.
Image ID: 21637  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter resting, holding its paws out of the water to keep them warm and conserve body heat as it floats in cold ocean water.
Image ID: 21638  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter, looking at the photographer as it forages for food in Elkhorn Slough.
Image ID: 21639  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California This bull elephant seal surveys his territory.  He shows scarring on his chest and proboscis from fighting other males for territory and rights to a harem of females.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight for territory and harems of females.  Bull elephant seals will haul out and fight from December through March, nearly fasting the entire time as they maintain their territory and harem.  They bite and tear at each other on the neck and shoulders, drawing blood and creating scars on the tough hides.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon
A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough. Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone. Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs.
Image ID: 21640  
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
 
This bull elephant seal surveys his territory. He shows scarring on his chest and proboscis from fighting other males for territory and rights to a harem of females. Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15391  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight for territory and harems of females. Bull elephant seals will haul out and fight from December through March, nearly fasting the entire time as they maintain their territory and harem. They bite and tear at each other on the neck and shoulders, drawing blood and creating scars on the tough hides. Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15393  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Female elephant seals fight for space on the beach for themselves and their pups, and fend off other females who may try to steal their pups.  The fights among females are less intense than those among bulls but are no less important in determining the social hierarchy of the rookery.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon A bull elephant seal forceably mates (copulates) with a much smaller female, often biting her into submission and using his weight to keep her from fleeing.  Males may up to 5000 lbs, triple the size of females.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon A bull elephant seal forceably mates (copulates) with a much smaller female, often biting her into submission and using his weight to keep her from fleeing.  Males may up to 5000 lbs, triple the size of females.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon
Female elephant seals fight for space on the beach for themselves and their pups, and fend off other females who may try to steal their pups. The fights among females are less intense than those among bulls but are no less important in determining the social hierarchy of the rookery. Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15403  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
A bull elephant seal forceably mates (copulates) with a much smaller female, often biting her into submission and using his weight to keep her from fleeing. Males may up to 5000 lbs, triple the size of females. Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15410  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
A bull elephant seal forceably mates (copulates) with a much smaller female, often biting her into submission and using his weight to keep her from fleeing. Males may up to 5000 lbs, triple the size of females. Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15411  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Elephant seal pup nurses.  The pup will nurse for 27 days, when the mother stops lactating and returns to the sea.  The pup will stay on the beach 12 more weeks until it becomes hungry and begins to forage for food, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California An adult male elephant seal rests on a wet beach.  He displays the enormous proboscis characteristic of male elephant seals as well as considerable scarring on his neck from fighting with other males for territory.  Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon An adult male elephant seal rests on a sandy beach.  He shows the enormous proboscis characteristic of male elephant seals, as well as considerable scarring on his neck from fighting with other males for territory.  Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon
Elephant seal pup nurses. The pup will nurse for 27 days, when the mother stops lactating and returns to the sea. The pup will stay on the beach 12 more weeks until it becomes hungry and begins to forage for food.
Image ID: 15419  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
An adult male elephant seal rests on a wet beach. He displays the enormous proboscis characteristic of male elephant seals as well as considerable scarring on his neck from fighting with other males for territory. Central California.
Image ID: 15439  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
An adult male elephant seal rests on a sandy beach. He shows the enormous proboscis characteristic of male elephant seals, as well as considerable scarring on his neck from fighting with other males for territory. Central California.
Image ID: 15440  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
An adult male elephant seal rests on a wet beach.  He displays the enormous proboscis characteristic of male elephant seals as well as considerable scarring on his neck from fighting with other males for territory.  Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon A bull elephant seal forceably mates (copulates) with a much smaller female, often biting her into submission and using his weight to keep her from fleeing.  Males may up to 5000 lbs, triple the size of females.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon This photo is the top of a stack of similar images, click to see them all. Bull elephant seal, adult male, bellowing. Its huge proboscis is characteristic of male elephant seals. Scarring from combat with other males.  Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon
An adult male elephant seal rests on a wet beach. He displays the enormous proboscis characteristic of male elephant seals as well as considerable scarring on his neck from fighting with other males for territory. Central California.
Image ID: 15442  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
A bull elephant seal forceably mates (copulates) with a much smaller female, often biting her into submission and using his weight to keep her from fleeing. Males may up to 5000 lbs, triple the size of females. Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15447  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Bull elephant seal, adult male, bellowing. Its huge proboscis is characteristic of male elephant seals. Scarring from combat with other males. Central California.
Image ID: 15453  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Having just given birth moments before, a mother elephant seal barks at seagulls that are feasting on the placenta and birth tissues.  The pup is unharmed; the interaction is a common one between elephant seals and gulls.  Winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Male elephant seal rears up on its foreflippers and bellows to intimidate other males and to survey its beach territory.  Winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight for territory and harems of females.  Bull elephant seals will haul out and fight from December through March, nearly fasting the entire time as they maintain their territory and harem.  They bite and tear at each other on the neck and shoulders, drawing blood and creating scars on the tough hides, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California
Having just given birth moments before, a mother elephant seal barks at seagulls that are feasting on the placenta and birth tissues. The pup is unharmed; the interaction is a common one between elephant seals and gulls. Winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15481  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Male elephant seal rears up on its foreflippers and bellows to intimidate other males and to survey its beach territory. Winter, Central California.
Image ID: 15522  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight for territory and harems of females. Bull elephant seals will haul out and fight from December through March, nearly fasting the entire time as they maintain their territory and harem. They bite and tear at each other on the neck and shoulders, drawing blood and creating scars on the tough hides.
Image ID: 20375  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Male elephant seal rears up on its foreflippers and bellows to intimidate other males and to survey its beach territory.  Winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon This bull elephant seal, an old adult male, shows extreme scarring on his chest and proboscis from many winters fighting other males for territory and rights to a harem of females, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California Elephant seals crowd a sand beach at the Piedras Blancas rookery near San Simeon, Mirounga angustirostris
Male elephant seal rears up on its foreflippers and bellows to intimidate other males and to survey its beach territory. Winter, Central California.
Image ID: 20385  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
This bull elephant seal, an old adult male, shows extreme scarring on his chest and proboscis from many winters fighting other males for territory and rights to a harem of females.
Image ID: 20393  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 
Elephant seals crowd a sand beach at the Piedras Blancas rookery near San Simeon.
Image ID: 20397  
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA
 


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Categories Appearing Among These Images:
Animal  >  Bird  >  Gull (Laridae)
Animal  >  Cetacean  >  Whale  >  Gray Whale
Animal  >  Cetacean  >  Whale  >  Juvenile / Calf
Animal  >  Cetacean  >  Whale  >  Whale Anatomy  >  Neonatal / Embryonic Fold
Animal  >  Cetacean  >  Whale  >  Whale Anatomy  >  Whale Fluke / Tail
Animal  >  Cetacean  >  Whale  >  Whale Behavior  >  Whale Blow / Spout
Animal  >  Endangered / Threatened Species  >  Marine  >  Gray Whale
Animal  >  Endangered / Threatened Species  >  Marine  >  Northern Elephant Seal
Animal  >  Mammal  >  Otter  >  Sea Otter
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Anemone
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Coral  >  Corallimorphs / False Coral
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Coral  >  Hard / Stony Coral
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Crustacean  >  Barnacle
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Marine Invertebrate Anatomy  >  Polyp
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Marine Invertebrate Behavior  >  Feeding
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Marine Invertebrate Behavior  >  Reproduction / Mating
Animal  >  Marine Invertebrate  >  Mollusk  >  Gastropods / Snail  >  Nudibranch / Sea Slug
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  California Sea Lion
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Juvenile / Pup
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Northern Elephant Seal
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Northern Elephant Seal  >  Female Disputes
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Northern Elephant Seal  >  Fighting Elephant Seals
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Anatomy  >  Ear
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Anatomy  >  Elephant Seal Proboscis
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Anatomy  >  Eye
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Anatomy  >  Scar / Wound
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Anatomy  >  Sexual Dimorphism / Male - Female Difference
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Anatomy  >  Whisker
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Behavior  >  Elephant Seal Bellowing
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Behavior  >  Mating / Courtship
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Behavior  >  Mother / Pup / Nurturing
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Behavior  >  Nursing
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Behavior  >  Territorial Dispute
Animal  >  Pinniped  >  Pinniped Behavior  >  Thermoregulation
Environmental Issues / Problems  >  Entanglement  >  Fishing Line Injury
Gallery  >  Anemone
Gallery  >  California
Gallery  >  California Sea Lion
Gallery  >  Cetacean
Gallery  >  Elephant Seal
Gallery  >  Gray Whale
Gallery  >  Icon
Gallery  >  Nudibranch
Gallery  >  Seals and Sea Lions
Gallery  >  Wildlife Portraits
Location  >  Oceans  >  Pacific  >  California (USA) / Baja California (Mexico)
Location  >  Oceans  >  Pacific  >  California (USA) / Baja California (Mexico)  >  Monterey Peninsula
Location  >  Protected Threatened and Significant Places  >  National Marine Sanctuaries  >  Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (California)
Location  >  Protected Threatened and Significant Places  >  National Marine Sanctuaries  >  Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (California)  >  Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Location  >  Protected Threatened and Significant Places  >  National Marine Sanctuaries  >  Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (California)  >  Piedras Blancas
Location  >  USA  >  California  >  Big Sur
Location  >  USA  >  California  >  Monterey
Location  >  USA  >  California  >  Moss Landing  >  Elkhorn Slough
Subject  >  Technique  >  Underwater

Species Appearing Among These Images:
Balanophyllia elegans
Cadlina luteomarginata
Corynactis californica
Enhydra lutris
Epiactis prolifera
Eschrichtius robustus
Hermissenda crassicornis
Megabalanus californicus
Mirounga angustirostris
Zalophus californianus

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Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals

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Updated: February 17, 2019