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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 A neonate gray whale calf, born just hours before, still exhbiting embryonic folds in the skin along its side.  This baby gray whale was born in the cold waters of Big Sur, far to the north of the Mexican lagoons of Baja California where most gray whale births take place, Eschrichtius robustus, Monterey Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight in the surf for access for mating females that are in estrous.  Such fighting among elephant seals can take place on the beach or in the water.  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 Sea otters mating.  The male holds the female's head or nose with his jaws during copulation. Visible scars are often present on females from this behavior.  Sea otters have a polygynous mating system. Many males actively defend territories and will mate with females that inhabit their territory or seek out females in estrus if no territory is established. Males and females typically bond for the duration of estrus, or about 3 days, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California 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 California sea lion, with monofiliment cut, Zalophus californianus, Monterey Gray whale, blow, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California 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 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 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, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Elephant seals crowd a sand beach at the Piedras Blancas rookery near San Simeon Bull elephant seal, adult male, bellowing. Its huge proboscis is characteristic of male elephant seals. Scarring from combat with other males, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California Bull elephant seal, adult male, bellowing. Its huge proboscis is characteristic of male elephant seals. Scarring from combat with other males, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California 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 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.  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 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 in the surf for access for mating females that are in estrous.  Such fighting among elephant seals can take place on the beach or in the water.  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 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 California sea lion, adult male, profile of head showing long whiskers and prominent sagittal crest (cranial crest bone), hauled out on rocks to rest, early morning sunrise light, Monterey breakwater rocks, Zalophus californianus Northern elephant seal,  mother and neonate pup, gulls eating placenta, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California California sea lions, Zalophus californianus, Monterey Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, Monterey California sea lion, thermoregulating, Zalophus californianus, Monterey California sea lion haulout, juveniles and adult male, Zalophus californianus, Monterey California sea lion colony, Zalophus californianus, Monterey Proliferating anemone with attached juveniles, growing on kelp stipe, Epiactis prolifera, Monterey, California Nudibranch, Cadlina luteomarginata, Monterey, California Nudibranch on calcareous coralline algae, Hermissenda crassicornis, Monterey, California Gray whale, neonate calf with embryonic folds visible, Eschrichtius robustus, Monterey, California Gray whale, blow, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, Monterey, California Nudibranch on calcareous coralline algae, Hermissenda crassicornis, Monterey, California Orange cup coral, Balanophyllia elegans, Monterey, California A bull elephant seal (adult male) surveys the beach.  The huge proboscis is characteristic of the species. Scarring from combat with other males.  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 Gray whale, raising fluke to dive, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California Gray whale, raising fluke to dive, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California California sea lion, adult male, profile of head showing long whiskers and prominent sagittal crest (cranial crest bone), hauled out on rocks to rest, early morning sunrise light, Monterey breakwater rocks, Zalophus californianus 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 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, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Bull elephant seal, adult male, bellowing. Its huge proboscis is characteristic of male elephant seals. Scarring from combat with other males, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California 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, 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, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon Bull elephant seal, adult male, bellowing. Its huge proboscis is characteristic of male elephant seals. Scarring from combat with other males, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California 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 Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight in the surf for access for mating females that are in estrous.  Such fighting among elephant seals can take place on the beach or in the water.  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 California sea lion, adult male, hauled out on rocks to rest, early morning sunrise light, Monterey breakwater rocks, Zalophus californianus California sea lion, adult male, hauled out on rocks to rest, early morning sunrise light, Monterey breakwater rocks, Zalophus californianus   more ...

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Updated: August 4, 2020