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Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season).  This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail.  Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California California golden gorgonian and small juvenile sheephead fishes on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep.  Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Muricea californica, Semicossyphus pulcher, San Clemente Island A great white shark swims away, showing its powerful caudal fin (tail), short anal fins on its underside, tall dorsal fin on top and sweeping winglike pectoral fins, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) The Pronghorn antelope is the fastest North American land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The pronghorns speed is its main defense against predators, Antilocapra americana, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming The Pronghorn antelope is the fastest North American land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The pronghorns speed is its main defense against predators, Antilocapra americana, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Chestnut cowrie with mantle extended, feather duster worm, Cypraea spadicea, Eudistylia polymorpha, Santa Cruz Island Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California Whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Darwin Island Blue whale fluke, powerful tail that propels the huge whale through the open ocean, Balaenoptera musculus Galapagos sea lion, hind flipper detail, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki, Sombrero Chino Rissos dolphin surfacing with eye showing. Note distinguishing and highly variable skin and dorsal fin patterns, characteristic of this species. White scarring, likely caused by other Risso dolphins teeth, accumulates during the dolphins life so that adult Rissos dolphins are almost entirely white.  San Diego, Grampus griseus West Indian manatees at Three Sisters Springs, Florida, Trichechus manatus, Crystal River West Indian manatees at Three Sisters Springs, Florida, Trichechus manatus, Crystal River West Indian manatees at Three Sisters Springs, Florida, Trichechus manatus, Crystal River West Indian manatees at Three Sisters Springs, Florida, Trichechus manatus, Crystal River Galapagos sea lion, hind flipper and nails, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki, Jervis Island Galapagos sea lion, whiskers and external ear, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki, Jervis Island An enormous blue whale raises its fluke (tail) high out of the water before diving.  Open ocean offshore of San Diego, Balaenoptera musculus Galapagos sea lion, whiskers, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki Chestnut cowry, mantle exposed, Cypraea spadicea, San Miguel Island Rissos dolphin, breaching. Note distinguishing and highly variable skin and dorsal fin patterns, characteristic of this species. White scarring, likely caused by other Risso dolphins teeth, accumulates during the dolphins life so that adult Rissos dolphins are almost entirely white. San Diego, Grampus griseus Chestnut cowrie with mantle extended, Cypraea spadicea, San Miguel Island Gray whale, neonate calf with embryonic folds visible, Eschrichtius robustus, Monterey, California Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, Monterey, California Blue whale, caudal stem, fluke with median notch, Balaenoptera musculus Blue whale, fluke, tail with median notch, lifting tail before diving in the open ocean, Balaenoptera musculus Blue whale, fluke up before dive, Balaenoptera musculus Juvenile garibaldi and purple urchins, Coronado Islands, Hypsypops rubicundus, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus,, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado) West Indian manatee and volunteer observer, Homosassa State Park, Trichechus manatus, Homosassa River West Indian manatee and volunteer observer, Homosassa State Park, Trichechus manatus, Homosassa River Blue whale fluking up, raising its tail, before a dive in the open ocean, Balaenoptera musculus Courting gray whales, Laguna San Ignacio, Eschrichtius robustus, San Ignacio Lagoon Gray whale, Laguna San Ignacio, Eschrichtius robustus, San Ignacio Lagoon Courting gray whales, Laguna San Ignacio, Eschrichtius robustus, San Ignacio Lagoon Pacific manta ray with remora, Manta birostris, Remora, San Benedicto Island (Islas Revillagigedos) An enormous blue whale raises its fluke (tail) high out of the water before diving.  Open ocean offshore of San Diego, Balaenoptera musculus An enormous blue whale raises its fluke (tail) high out of the water before diving.  Open ocean offshore of San Diego, Balaenoptera musculus An enormous blue whale raises its fluke (tail) high out of the water before diving.  Open ocean offshore of San Diego, Balaenoptera musculus An enormous blue whale raises its fluke (tail) high out of the water before diving.  Open ocean offshore of San Diego, Balaenoptera musculus A Rissos dolphin leaps from the ocean in a full breach. Note distinguishing and highly variable skin and dorsal fin patterns, characteristic of this species.  White scarring, likely caused by other Risso dolphins teeth, accumulates during the dolphins life so that adult Rissos dolphins are almost entirely white.  Offshore near San Diego, Grampus griseus Chestnut cowrie with mantle extended, Cypraea spadicea, San Miguel Island Marine iguana, Punta Espinosa, Amblyrhynchus cristatus, Fernandina Island An enormous blue whale raises its fluke (tail) high out of the water before diving.  Open ocean offshore of San Diego, Balaenoptera musculus Longhorn cowfish, Lactoria cornuta Spotted ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei Spotfin surfperch, Hyperprosopon anale Mexican hogfish, adult male showing fleshy bump on head, Bodianus diplotaenia, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) Mexican hogfish, adult male showing fleshy bump on head, Bodianus diplotaenia, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) Mexican hogfish, adult male showing fleshy bump on head, Bodianus diplotaenia, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

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Updated: July 16, 2020