Tuesday, May 31, 2011

harbor seal ~ 05/31/11 ~ Hopkins

Phoca vitulina

Here's my annual harbor seal pup post, a little later than usual. Most of the harbor seals around here are born mid-April. It's fun living just a block away from the bay, because sound carries very clearly up from the water. I remember hearing pups crying at night, which sound almost human-like, a week before the first reports of births at Hopkins' non-publicly viewable beaches. The pups have had almost 2 months to turn into fat beach sausages. Besides obvious size variations, I don't know how to tell the difference between the older pups, post-nursing moms, and males.

Interesting to note, Stanford Hopkins' seanet site names harbor seals down to subspecies, P. vitulina richardii, and calls them Eastern Pacific harbor seals. Other references spell the subspecies P. vitulina richardsi with an 's', which I chalk off to Gray having really bad handwriting back in 1864.

Oh! There's a funny white goose in the middle of the last picture that we've seen around for a couple of months. For much better pictures than mine, check out local photographer Peter Monteforte's marine mammal shots.

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