|Copyright: Silke Force (Silke)
|Date Taken: 2005-01-30|
|Categories: Mammals, Ocean|
|Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5700|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop|
|Date Submitted: 2006-07-07 7:48|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, are true seals, or earless seals, members of the pinniped suborder. What marvelous creatures they are: huge blubbery males with the pendulous noses that give these beasts their name; winsome females whose faces seem to be etched with a permanent smile; and endearing plump babies with big brown eyes. |
In the 1880's northern elephant seals were thought to be extinct, harvested by shore whalers and sealers for their blubber. The oil obtained from elephant seals is second in quality only to the sperm whale. A small group of between 20-100 elephant seals that bred on Guadalupe Island, off Baja California, survived the ravages of the seal hunts. Protected first by Mexico and later by the United States, they have steadily expanded their range. Today they are protected from hunting and harassment by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The total population estimate for northern elephant seals in 2003 is around 150,000.
The breeding season begins in late November when mature bulls begin to arrive and fight to determine dominance. The females start arriving in the middle of December and continue to arrive until the middle of February. The first birth is around Christmas, but most births usually occur during the last two weeks of January. The females remain on the beach for about five weeks from the time they come ashore. Amazingly, the males are on the beach for up to 100 days. The seals are fasting while they are on land, and both males and females lose about 1/3 of their body weight during the breeding season.
Elephant seals form harems, in which the dominant, or alpha, male is surrounded by a group of females. On the periphery of the harem, the beta bulls wait in hopes of an opportunity to mate. They assist the alpha bull in keeping away the less dominant males. Fights between males can be bloody affairs in which the combatants rear up and slam their bodies against each other, slashing with their large canine teeth. However, not all confrontations end in battle. Rearing up on their hindquarters, throwing back their heads, showing off the size of their noses and bellowing threats is enough to intimidate most challengers. When battles do occur, it is rarely to the death.
For complete information see: http://www.elephantseal.org/
scottevers7, pablominto, NINIX, Leace, lovenature, jeanpaul, SkyF has marked this note useful
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Looks like you caught this big bull in full voice. I like the shot and think the pose detail looks great. It could possibly use some more contrast. The strong light has muted the color some.
A lovely image in this natural setting..!
Well composed, and light management works well in spite of harsh sunlight...
Quite good natural colours and fine details, and he for sure gives you his very best pose!
A good shot and a very good note!
Show us more of your talents.
I tried to improve the picture in the wqorkshop: here. Hope you like it.
I also reworked your swanportret a bit: here.
- [2006-07-07 12:43]
A majestic portrait, with an intimidating pose, very good definition and natural, marine colors.
TFS, José M.
- [2006-07-07 15:19]
Hi Silke ! Great shot of this big animal ! I love its pose very much, ad these waves in the BG are beautiful too. Good light and natural colors, nice details and POV, and an excellent note. Very well done !
I love the pose of this big Elephant Seal, he looks like he's have fun on the beach. Nice composition as he sit waiting for a wave to come by. His colour blends well with the sand. TFS Janice
Très jolie cette prise de vue avec cet éléphant de mer,les couleurs et les détails sont parfaits et très jolie la vague en arrièrs plan.
Merci et au revoir....JP
- [2006-07-07 20:20]
nice shot, looks like he is having a blast at the beach ;-). Wonderful POV and good details.