Dean M. Chriss
The Argument, Elephant Seals, California Coast
(Click image to enlarge)
Elephant seals are well-named. Males develop an enlarged proboscis (nose) beginning at about three to five years, which is fully developed when they are seven to nine years of age. Adult males may grow to over 13 feet (4 m) in length and weigh up to 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg). The females are much "smaller" at 10 feet (3 m) in length and 1,500 pounds (600 kg). The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. The female seal shown here is rejecting the advances of the young adult male. As the seals age, the males collect scars on the tough hide around their necks from the many battles they endure to attain dominance on the beach.