NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS: On the Beach

ELEPHANT SEALS – On the BeachHere’s a program from our archives.ambience: male elephant seal, oceanWhat’s 16 feet long, weighs up to two tons and sounds like this? It’s a male Northern Elephant Seal, and right now is its breeding season. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.This time of year, on Ao Nuevo Island other islands off the coast of California and Mexico, is when Northern Elephant seals come ashore to give birth to their pups and to breed.Burney leBoeuf is a biology professor at the University of California in Santa Cruz who’s been studying elephant seals for over thirty years.leBoeuf: Well, the females are arriving, pregnant. The males have already gotten here. They preceded them by a couple of weeks. Males are fighting for position. Females are gathering in groups, because if they remain alone they get accosted by males, and to protect themselves they gather in large groups. Females will be giving birth about six days after they arrive and then nursing their pups daily. At the end of the nursing period, about 28 days later, they come into estrus and mate with the males. The males are competing to mate with as many females as possible. A few males can monopolize a large number of females.More on elephant seals in future programs. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS: On the Beach

Sex, violence, and the two ton elephant seal.
Air Date:03/05/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

ELEPHANT SEALS - On the BeachHere's a program from our archives.ambience: male elephant seal, oceanWhat's 16 feet long, weighs up to two tons and sounds like this? It's a male Northern Elephant Seal, and right now is its breeding season. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.This time of year, on Ao Nuevo Island other islands off the coast of California and Mexico, is when Northern Elephant seals come ashore to give birth to their pups and to breed.Burney leBoeuf is a biology professor at the University of California in Santa Cruz who's been studying elephant seals for over thirty years.leBoeuf: Well, the females are arriving, pregnant. The males have already gotten here. They preceded them by a couple of weeks. Males are fighting for position. Females are gathering in groups, because if they remain alone they get accosted by males, and to protect themselves they gather in large groups. Females will be giving birth about six days after they arrive and then nursing their pups daily. At the end of the nursing period, about 28 days later, they come into estrus and mate with the males. The males are competing to mate with as many females as possible. A few males can monopolize a large number of females.More on elephant seals in future programs. We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.