Elephant Seals

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Elephant Seals
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Added: 17-02-2009
Runtime: 1m 49s
Views: 1272
Comments: 0

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The Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas, 9 miles north of San Simeon, is the best place to view elephant seals in California. Join Veronica Hill of California Travel Tips at this amazing vista point and learn more about these giant pinnipeds. Located on a convenient vista turnout right off Highway 1, the Elephant Seal Rookery is home to a colony of between 7 and 10 thousand northern elephant seals. Though they live off the California coast, northern elephant seals migrate twice a year, sometimes traveling as far as the Aleutian Islands or Hawaii. Male elephant seals can weigh up to 9,000 pounds, dive at depths of up to a mile and hold their breath for almost 2 hours. While at sea, elephant seals eat a diet of fish and squid. On land, they do not eat. They survive off their rich blubber, often spraying sand on their backs to keep cool. Docents are on hand daily to answer questions about the colony, who can be seen mating, giving birth, fighting for females and molting, depending on the time of year you visit. In January, the females give birth to a single pup after an 11-month pregnancy. Only half make it to hood. Hunted for their blubber, they neared extinction during the 1800s. They are named for their trunklike, inflatable snouts. Next time you're driving along scenic highway 1, check out the elephant seals. It's free, it's fun and educational.

Channels: Travel & Events 

Tags: Blancas    California    Cambria    elephant    facts    mating    molting    Piedras    pups    rookery    San    seal    seals    Simeon    tips    travel 

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