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Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Bull elk spar to establish harems of females, Gibbon Meadow, Cervus canadensis, Gibbon Meadows, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Full grown, mature male coastal brown bear boar (grizzly bear) in sedge grass meadows, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Adams River sockeye salmon.  A female sockeye salmon swims upstream in the Adams River to spawn, having traveled hundreds of miles upstream from the ocean, Oncorhynchus nerka, Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada Northern cardinal, male, Cardinalis cardinalis, Amado, Arizona Bull elephant seal exits the water to retake his position on the beach.  He shows considerable scarring on his chest and proboscis from many winters fighting other males for territory and rights to a harem of females.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Magnificent frigatebird, adult male on nest, with throat pouch inflated, a courtship display to attract females, Fregata magnificens, North Seymour Island Steller sea lions (Northern sea lions) gather on rocks.  Steller sea lions are the largest members of the Otariid (eared seal) family.  Males can weigh up to 2400 lb, females up to 770 lb, Eumetopias jubatus, Chiswell Islands, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska Magnificent frigatebird, adult female on nest, Fregata magnificens, North Seymour Island Black bear walking in a grassy meadow.  Black bears can live 25 years or more, and range in color from deepest black to chocolate and cinnamon brown.  Adult males typically weigh up to 600 pounds.  Adult females weight up to 400 pounds and reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age.  Adults stand about 3' tall at the shoulder, Ursus americanus, Orr, Minnesota Sea lions underwater, adult male (left) and female (right), Zalophus californianus, Sea of Cortez Sea lion harem of females, underwater, Zalophus californianus, Sea of Cortez Adult male humpback whale singing, suspended motionless underwater.  Only male humpbacks have been observed singing.  All humpbacks in the North Pacific sing the same whale song each year, and the song changes slightly from one year to the next, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui Humpback whale mother, calf (top), male escort (rear), underwater.  A young humpback calf typically swims alongside or above its mother, and male escorts will usually travel behind the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui Adult male humpback whale bubble streaming underwater.  The male escort humpback whale seen here is emitting a curtain of bubbles as it swims behind a female (left) during a competitive group.  The bubble curtain may be meant as warning or visual obstruction to other male whales interested in the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui Adult male humpback whale bubble streaming underwater.  The male escort humpback whale seen here is emitting a curtain of bubbles as it swims behind a mother and calf.  The bubble curtain may be meant as warning or visual obstruction to other nearby male whales interested in the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui North Pacific humpback whale, escort in competitive group makes fast close pass, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui Pyrrhuloxia, male, Cardinalis sinuatus, Amado, Arizona Bullock's oriole, first year male, Icterus bullockii, Amado, Arizona Northern cardinal, female, Cardinalis cardinalis, Amado, Arizona Acorn woodpecker, female, Melanerpes formicivorus, Madera Canyon Recreation Area, Green Valley, Arizona Black-headed grosbeak, male, Pheucticus melanocephalus, Madera Canyon Recreation Area, Green Valley, Arizona Brown-headed cowbird, male, Molothrus ater, Amado, Arizona House finch, male, Carpodacus mexicanus, Amado, Arizona Hooded oriole, female, Icterus cucullatus, Amado, Arizona House sparrow, breeding male, Passer domesticus, Amado, Arizona Adult female moose in deep meadow grass near Christian Creek, Alces alces, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming The bisons massive head is its most characteristic feature. Its forehead bulges because of its convex-shaped frontal bone. Its shoulder hump, dwindling bowlike to the haunches, is supported by unusually long spinal vertebrae. Over powerful neck and shoulder muscles grows a great shaggy coat of curly brown fur, and over the head, like an immense hood, grows a shock of black hair. Its forequarters are higher and much heavier than its haunches. A mature bull stands about 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) at the shoulder and weighs more than 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). The bisons horns are short and black. In the male they are thick at the base and taper abruptly to sharp points as they curve outward and upward; the females horns are more slender, Bison bison, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Wood duck, male, Aix sponsa, Santee Lakes Black bear walking in a grassy meadow.  Black bears can live 25 years or more, and range in color from deepest black to chocolate and cinnamon brown.  Adult males typically weigh up to 600 pounds.  Adult females weight up to 400 pounds and reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age.  Adults stand about 3' tall at the shoulder, Ursus americanus, Orr, Minnesota Black bear walking in a grassy meadow.  Black bears can live 25 years or more, and range in color from deepest black to chocolate and cinnamon brown.  Adult males typically weigh up to 600 pounds.  Adult females weight up to 400 pounds and reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age.  Adults stand about 3' tall at the shoulder, Ursus americanus, Orr, Minnesota Black bear walking in a grassy meadow.  Black bears can live 25 years or more, and range in color from deepest black to chocolate and cinnamon brown.  Adult males typically weigh up to 600 pounds.  Adult females weight up to 400 pounds and reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age.  Adults stand about 3' tall at the shoulder, Ursus americanus, Orr, Minnesota Black bear walking in a grassy meadow.  Black bears can live 25 years or more, and range in color from deepest black to chocolate and cinnamon brown.  Adult males typically weigh up to 600 pounds.  Adult females weight up to 400 pounds and reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age.  Adults stand about 3' tall at the shoulder, Ursus americanus, Orr, Minnesota Juvenile female coastal brown bear (grizzly bear) grazes on sedge grass, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Juvenile female brown bear forages for razor clams in sand flats at extreme low tide.  Grizzly bear, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Brown bears fighting or sparring.  These are likely young but sexually mature males that are simply mock fighting for practice, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Mature male coastal brown bear boar waits on the tide flats at the mouth of Silver Salmon Creek for salmon to arrive.  Grizzly bear, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Full grown, mature male coastal brown bear boar (grizzly bear) in sedge grass meadows, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Brown bear female sow in sedge meadow, with her three spring cubs hidden by the deep grass next to her.  These cubs were born earlier in the spring and will remain with their mother for almost two years, relying on her completely for their survival, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Full grown, mature male coastal brown bear boar (grizzly bear) in sedge grass meadows, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Juvenile female coastal brown bear walks on beach, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Elk, bull elk, adult male elk with large set of antlers.  By September, this bull elk's antlers have reached their full size and the velvet has fallen off. This bull elk has sparred with other bulls for access to herds of females in estrous and ready to mate, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming A male sockeye salmon, showing injuries sustained as it migrated hundreds of miles from the ocean up the Fraser River, swims upstream in the Adams River to reach the place where it will fertilize eggs laid by a female in the rocks.  It will die so after spawning, Oncorhynchus nerka, Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada Adams River sockeye salmon.  A female sockeye salmon swims upstream in the Adams River to spawn, having traveled hundreds of miles upstream from the ocean, Oncorhynchus nerka, Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada A male moose, bull moose, on snow covered field, near Cooke City, Alces alces, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Gray whales, two males both with extended penis during courtship socialization, Laguna San Ignacio, Eschrichtius robustus, San Ignacio Lagoon Roosevelt elk, adult bull male with large antlers.  This bull elk has recently shed the velvet that covers its antlers. While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone; once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler, which is itself shed after each mating season. Roosevelt elk grow to 10' and 1300 lb, eating grasses, sedges and various berries, inhabiting the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, Cervus canadensis roosevelti, Redwood National Park, California Roosevelt elk, adult bull male with large antlers.  This bull elk has recently shed the velvet that covers its antlers. While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone; once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler, which is itself shed after each mating season. Roosevelt elk grow to 10' and 1300 lb, eating grasses, sedges and various berries, inhabiting the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, Cervus canadensis roosevelti, Redwood National Park, California   more ...

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Updated: September 21, 2021