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Nature's Sumo Wrestlers

Nature's Sumo Wrestlers. Hundreds of thousands of northern elephant seals once inhabited the Pacific Ocean. They were slaughtered wholesale in the 1800s for the oil that could be rendered from their blubber. By 1892, only 50 to 100 individuals were left. Today estimates are that about 150,000 roam the Pacific Ocean. And they are extraordinary animals - the males can average 1,800 kg and 5 meters in length. Mirounga angustirostris spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles, twice a year, to its land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest. Once on the beach, they survive up to 3-4 months with almost no food or water. You can spy on them at through the live cam at Ano Nuevo State Reserve from 9am to 9pm (EST) though at this point, it’s mostly only the pups that are still on the beach as most of the adults have headed back to sea. Also, they do not like to be woken up.
posted by otherwordlyglow on Mar 15, 2007 - 28 comments

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