ML 139397

AudioDateDownLeftRightUpCloseReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridListMapMenuPhotoPlayPlusSearchStarUserVideo

Interview 3:45 - 14:01 Play 3:45 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
Bernie LeBoeuf  

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

 

100%

 

 

 

Northern Elephant Seal  

Environmental Recording 16:03 - 17:03 Play 16:03 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
Ocean surf ambi, Northern Elephant Seals  

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Interview 17:32 - 20:53 Play 17:32 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
Daniel E. Crocker  

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

 

100%

 

 

 

Northern Elephant Seal tracking  

Interview 22:00 - 1:35:55 Play 22:00 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
Bernie LeBoeuf  

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

 

100%

 

 

 

Northern Elephant Seal  

Northern Elephant Seal -- Mirounga angustirostris 24:03 - 38:40 Play 24:03 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
 

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

 

100%

 

Natural
 

 

Time of Day: 0845  

Northern Elephant Seal -- Mirounga angustirostris 25:53 - 25:56 Play 25:53 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
Pup call  

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

1 Immature  

100%

 

Natural
 

call

 

Time of Day: 0850  

Northern Elephant Seal -- Mirounga angustirostris 1:35:55 - 1:45:06 Play 1:35:55 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
 

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

 

100%

 

Natural
 

 

Time of Day: 1005  

Northern Elephant Seal -- Mirounga angustirostris 1:45:21 - 1:49:07 Play 1:45:21 - More
Audio »
More
Video »
Browse
species »
Sleeping, breathing  

Age/Sex
Identification
Solicitation
Behavior
Note

1 Adult Male  

100%

 

Natural
 

 

Time of Day: 1015  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
10 Feb 1997 at 08:45

    Geography
  • United States
    California
    San Mateo County
    Locality
  • Año Nuevo State Reserve
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 37.13306   -122.33306
    Habitats
  • Marine Shoreline
    Features
  • Beach
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo

NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
LOG -Elephant Seals

DAT #1 Ano Nuevo -with Bernie, LeBoeuf [BLB] -on the beach

MS -stereo -

Engineer -Leo

Walking to the beach with Burney LeBoeuf (BLB)

Chatter with grad/research students

Trying to record elephant seal bulls fighting in the water

10:109 Alex screams "OOOOOH, look at that.....that one animal just sunk its teeth into the chest of another..... Carolyn, you want to keep an eye behind us..... [Alex screams again] ....waves .....Alex says: animals cut and bleeding in the chests, blood just pouring out of them...

BLB: Now typically if this were the alpha male of the harem and he won the fight and the fight ends.....the loser would go away, the winner would come back to his harem... it's at a time like that the beta male, the second male in command would challenge him....now is the time to make a move, they're smart animals.....

AC: [12:14] look at that + waves, one will sink his enormous jaw into his chest.... and then yank the animal under water.

12:47 BLB: The consequence of a fight like this are very important. The winner might mate with 50 females, the loser might never mate again for the entire season.....12:54 + waves.

AC: These wounds look deep.....what's happening to them.

BLB: First of all they have a special kind of tissue on their chest -neck shield...this is the area where received most of the blows during a fight .... so part of the pinkness due to fighting.... when come out of the water, will see cuts allover them....immune from infection

Recording of fighting of elephant seals: [breakup]

16:00 -17:00 Good wave. ambi + faint seals vocalizing

17:35 "I'm Dan Crocker, I'm a post doctoral researcher -this morning we are recovering a time depth recorder and a satellite tag off a female¿ we have been tracking about 8 months. The idea is to try to get a really good idea of where she goes and how she spends her time at sea.... foraging, what she's eating....during huge amount of time when she's not on the beach...what we do with it is go in and analyze dive records... 8 months worth of diving data.... lot of computer processing involved...go through break up dives .. different kind of wave patterns -foraging strategies... actual device six inches long and an inch in diameter, so it's a pretty small unit -microelectronics -measures diving depth of animal the entire time at sea....detailed picture of every single dive while animal is at sea, how deep it dove, how fast it got to that depth, and we can construct a picture of daily life of seal over 8 months .... attached? marine epoxy glued to fur of the animal.....she'll molt that off in 3 months. How do you know will recover that animal. Helps that we have a satellite tag on her -know exactly where she is, exactly when she came back to Ano. if things work well we recover all the data.....seal will be fine

20:23 DC: "pretty spectacular fight on the water line." [lead to Alex observations of ooh and ahhh and BLB's comments 21:20]

BLB: This guy's quit, he's given up the fight's over.....+ elephant seal ambi of moving along beach.... 22:30

They're not too badly beat up.... [combine Dan Crocker, BLB re. fight + AC "OOOOOHH, AAAH re. fight]

FX: 24:00 -30:00 Beach and elephant seals vocalizations

FX: 24:00 -24:40 Beach, elephant seals .... + Burney ID of different calls [28:01 -seal flaps past] 29:06 -30:00

31:03: BLB: There's going to be a mating. The male who won the fight has returned to his harem. He's got his fore-flipper over a female's back. she's spread her hind flipper, she's very receptive, she's going to mate.....+ FX 31:33

31:33 -38:19 Look at the heat rising. Ok. that's a mating, it lasts about 5 minutes. + elephant seals vocalizing 38:19

39:33 BLB: This is Ano Nuevo point. It's the largest aggregation of elephant seals here on the mainland. It's one of the first places where they started to breed on the mainland in 197s.Breeding on the island 1961. There are approximately 13 different harems on the mainland. You've seen two of them....most of activity here....40:13

41:00 -BLB: Bernie describes pup that was killed.....pups get separated from mothers -starve; or feed from mothers that are not their own....some females will bite and kill them..... also males in their eagerness to mate with females ....trample over pups.... once they are weaned, they triple their body weight from birth to weaning..... 300 pounds -spend next 2-1/2 months on rookery...fasting and learning to swim and dive -then to sea for 5 months. on average 50% of them don't come back -tough at sea -don't know where to eat, don't know where to find it. prey to white sharks. Right off Ano Nuevo and Farallones and Pt. Reyes, you have a higher frequency of shark attaks on humans than anywhere else in the world... called the red triangle.... every year shark attacks on elephant seals...on average see 20-25 animals that have new shark bites when arrive...these are the animals that got away....don't know how many killed.... 45:13
Just beginning a study of white shark predation on elephant seals attacks.... new technology which makes this possible radio acoustic positioning system.... anchor 3 buoys off the island = receivers --put an ultrasonic tag on the shark or the seal. buoys are the receivers, triangulate animals position, then telemeter info to the mainland where have software and tv screen -In the leisure of your office can track up to 10 white sharks simultaneously within 1-1/2 km to 5 km area.....so surfer could call up and say what's the shark situation like at Ano Nuevo today? 46:49

48:56 BLB This is a typical harem. males larger -3-10 times larger, elongate proboscis...nose falls into their mouth when they vocalize....throw heads way back, sometimes don't coordinate -bite self..... females are the animals in the center, don't have a long nose, see pups of various sizes....youngest animals look like torpedoes...pups look like little blimps. weaning at four weeks of age -will be 48% blubber -six feet long, 300 pounds.

AC: how long does the relationship go on?

BLB: at weaning is the end of relationship between pup and the mother -the mother copulates gets pregnant = goes back to sea for 70 days. feeding -diving for 24 hours a day -as far as longitude of Hawaii ... regains 85% of mass she lost during lactation. molts, then to sea again for 8 months .....egg doesn't grow til she goes back to sea second time. gives birth six days after returns in december....

AC: animal feeding 24 hours a day -

BLB: Diving continuously -60 dives on average per day -each dive last 20 minutes -with 2 minutes on surface.... AC: when does it sleep? BLB: we know that when seals on land they sleep while holding their breath -up to 25 minutes -in essence it parallels a dive. must be sleeping during course of diving -on the way down -or could be a reduced level of vigilance. diving 1800 feet. it seems to be foraging at the bottom of the dive. we think females are feeding in the water column on patches of squid.... then go to surface to breathe then go down again to same patch.....for a day and a half = gorge feeding. Males do something different....they cross the Pacific.... to continental margin along coast of BC or as afar as Aleutian Islands -then go down to bottom and feed on bottom dwelling animals -200-800 meters on average. males are 3-10 times larger than females ....have to accrue more resources...data suggest that they eat animals with more nourishment as opposed to just small squid which females feed on almost exclusively.

56:35 AC: these are mammals ...never come back to land

BLB: right are the most pelagic -are in some respects like whales -more aquatically adapted than whales -are diving deeper than most whales, spending more time under water when at sea.....more time than right or sperm whales under sea. 57:30

AC: How is it possible -

BLB: store oxygen in blood and muscle......exhale before go down -how do they dive for an hour -hour and a half? lower meatabolic rate when dive, heart rate drops .....to 25-30 beats may reduce heart rate to 3-6 beats per minute... diving while dead. at a time when they're trying to accrue resources, energy, doing this while expending minimum amount of energy. it's counterintuitive, and it's a paradox of diving. and elephant seals seem to do that to the extreme....even after an 1-1/2 hour dive, the animal requires 2-1/2 -3 minutes at the surface til go again. how does the elepahnt seal do it -we don't know. how do they withstand the high pressure.......they're going to a maximum depth of 1-1/2 km. so they're amazing animals. 1:01:08

1:01:09 AC: When started to study this 30 years ago....didn't know this.

BLB: Particularly diving....the big breakthrough in the study of diving mammals was a development of a device you could put on an animal to record his diving pattern -depth and duration. Jerry Quimmen pioneered[ ? ] .....when microcomputers came along, that changed everything.....put satellite tags on the animals head can record dive for entire 8 months of gestation.....get heart rate and EKG, ambient temperature, record acoustics, sounds impinging on animals, cuz great concern for sounds impinging on animals ........ elephant seal ideal animal to do studies....animal has reliable habits, come back to us, 90% of instruments come back to us.

1:03:39 AC: first started putting instruments on -was there a depth limit?

BLB: When we first put an instrument on an animal, record diving depth was 600 meters....and the first time put an instrument on, lasted 14 days ..... 630 meter dive....even more startling had continuous diving for 14 days. no one had ever seen this **now the record for diving depth is 1595 meters for a northern elephant seal. the question that intrigues me here, why go so deep. most of foraging 500-600 meters -where most of biomass is contained along continental margins around the world....most diving mammals can't get down that deep . this is what they do on average....why diving deeper than that i don't know.... deepest dives different than foraging dives.....
1:06:27

AC: Why did you start on elephant seals 30 years ago .....

I was studying rats and dogs .....at santa Cruz, the person who hired me asked if i would be interested in elephant seals.... saw all kinds of potential....the nice thing, 25 minutes from civilization...to study animals like this usually have to lead an expedition can mark individuals and study them a lifetime...can ask more interesting question. study relationship of fighting to mating....with DNA fingerprinting, what are the consequences of some male monopolizing matings.....1:08:40..... [+ more]

1:09:27 AC: Why did the seals come back here?

BLB: I think they were here formerly. virtually wiped out by sealers in the 19th century -beginning in 1800 -almost extinct by 1866 ......museum hunters pursued them for specimens -for museums .....killed last ones.... nadir in 1884, Townsend from Smithsonian to Guadeloupe Island -saw 8 of them he writes -then killed 7 of them as specimens. A handful survived, all descendants -may have been as few as 30 that survived. seals looking at lack genetic variability compared with other mammals. we think maybe the bottleneck they went through -maybe so....what are the consequences. may lack adaptability. don't seem to get outbreaks of diseases ....

AC: even though lack genetic variability, don't get sick and don't get infections BLB: amazing comeback.... can't explain how came back from 30 Maybe diving deep -left niche unexploited, another animal didn't come back and take over......Guadeloupe fur seal comparisons... only place both species survived... **Elephant seal numbers 125,000.....breeds in about 13-14 places from central Baja, California to Farallon Islands ....

1:15:05 -FX -elephant seal comes within 10 feet and vocalizes..... very robust against human interference -1:15:43

1:17:00 - 1:23:50
AC: What about the vocalizations we hear?

BLB: describes vocalizations

1:25:48 -1:28:51 **AC: Is there a human application to the research you are doing?

BLB: If we understood how they could lower their metabolism when they are diving...lf person could do this when undergoing surgery -great boon to mankind. Another thing -when sleep, have these long apneas which last 25 minutes; when babies do this -learn about SIDS by studying an animal where sleep apnea is normal. If you have a collapsed lung you're in intensive care, these animals when go to sea from 2-8 months -spending 90% of the time underwater, when they dive at 30-40 meters, the lungs collapse, and they are collapsed throughout the dive, when ascend the lungs re-inflate about 30-40 meters, rise to the surface, re-oxigenate, whole process again[so 90% of the time at sea is spent underwater and 99% of that time is spent with lungs collapsed, then spending most of their lives with their lungs collapsed, how do they do it, medical people like to know how they do it.
Males will fast over 100 days during the breeding season; females will fast while lactating for 34 days; both of them will lose 4S % of their body mass; if you are interested in starvation physiology -learn from animals ....this is being studied here by my colleagues.1:28:51

1:28:52 AC: Do you think the designation of the marine sanctuary -done anything for this area?

BLB: I think so, hard to show. curbing some of the modes of fishing driftnet, particularly here close to shore .... What the sanctuary might give them more protection when at sea .... the sanctuary also protects white shark. .... controversy right here at Ano Nuevo -bring divers here in a cage, while he attracted white sharks .... sanctuary forbade that sort of activity .... The sanctuary makes it more difficult to do science .... means another permit. 1:31:20

1:32:08 **This is an unusual place; here you have these animals, 5,000 of them... during the breeding season -here on the beach -mating -where people can walk up to within 20 feet of them see the most intimate things they do, only 25 minutes from civilization; no where else in the world where have something like that happening, whether it be in Africa with lions, tigers, you can't just go a place like that and predictably say wild animal will be doing that; this is a treasure, and i am delighted we have it within the confines of the sanctuary which gives it even more protection. 1:33:04

AC: I wonder if people ever come to see these animals and feel about them re. bears etc .....

**BLB: People tend to have com passion for certain animals .... sea otters, chimps, primates, majesty of lions, the whales, why are whales so much more likable than elephant seal.. ..These animals have such prowess in many areas, diving capacity, progenity among males, why don't high schools adopt them as mascots, call football teams the elephant seals, but the scientific name "...?....?"the name I like is "...?....?"
big seal, big nose would be a much better name .... sings the cheer 1:35:51

Close Title