16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
A resting place
The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery spreads over barely 6 miles shoreline. This stretch of beach along California's central coast is a busy highway for the largest seal in the northern hemisphere. Every year they can be observed in exact same spot, twice a year. February is a very exciting month for the elephant seals. Final birthing is going on, pups are being weaned and mating is underway. The beach is typically crowded with dominant bulls - one of which is shown resting after a fight in the photo - guarding their harems of females and pups, and the peak of mating tends to be around Valentine's Day.
© Gabriela Sijer.
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||May 30, 2018, 10:24 p.m.