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Archive for the ‘3CU’ Category

(P)update #41

It’s been a little over two weeks since RH92 was tagged. She has been busy exploring up and down the coastline near where she was born, and she’s been making a few friends, too–there’s Temp325, RN44, RN30, 3CU, RK05, RV18 and even recently de-hooked RF28 sporting a tracking device on his back. We have not witnessed her eat any sea cucumbers, as many weaners inevitably do, but she has tried seaweed. Basically, she’s just being a wild monk seal and doing a good job of it, at that.

Here are a few photos of her escapades.

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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(P)update #30

Right here. This photo explains why monk seals are known as true seals.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Taxonomically, the Hawaiian monk seal belongs to the order of pinniped, a member of the group of marine mammals that also includes sea lions, fur seals, and walruses. But here is where monk seals differ. Monk seals are part of the family Phocidae–true seals–members of which are characterized by their lack of external ear flaps. Monk seals’ ears are visible as small holes on the sides of their head; a narrow canal leads to the middle ear.

There are some other unique attributes that distinguish true seals from sea lions, fur seals, and walruses. We’ll get to those in future posts.

Photo credit: G. Langley

A little over three hours of swim time and three feedings were observed today for PK2 (born to RK22). No encounters with male visitors but 3CU, Temp 325 and R313 were in the area.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

Our newest pup PK3 (born to RO28) is starting to spend more time in the water–sleeping as well as napping.

Photo credit: G. Langley

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(P)update #29

RK22 and PK2 had a couple swims today that totaled over four hours and were interrupted for three feedings and a variety of company. In one photo below, you can see a turtle, RN44, RV18, mom and pup. 3CU was also in the area.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

By now, PK2’s teeth have started to erupt through her gums. Monk seals have two pair of eight teeth each for a total of 32, just like humans.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Here’s PK3. No confirmed gender yet. Still learning how the body works!

Photo credit: G. Langley

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(P)update #26

Here’s an interesting fact: The only other extant species of monk seal, the Mediterranean monk seal, does not fast during lactation. Hence, moms are able to replenish their energy reserves, and pups do not wean until they are about four months old.

Today, PK2 makes four weeks of age. That’s 28 days. The longest RK22 has nursed a pup was 44 days. The shortest was last year at 34 days.

While pup is packing on the pounds every day and looking quite plump—I mean, look at these photos—mom is losing weight. One research study estimated that for every pound gained by pup, mom loses two pounds. That could be one-third to one-half her body weight. Often, by the time moms wean their pup, their shoulder and hip bones, as well as, ribs are visible. Based on these photos, RK22 looks like she’ll be around for a few more days or longer. But you never know.

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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Photo credit: G. Langley

Males 3CU and Temp 325 were working the area. Along with this visitor:

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Photo credit: G. Langley

Just down the coast, RO28 has introduced PK3 to the water, and the two are moving about more, causing our volunteers to rearrange their SPZ (seal protection zone).

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Photo credit: G. Langley

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(P)update #25

PK2 just keeps on getting bigger. And RK22 smaller.

Two swims today one of an hour and a half, then another one hour and forty-five minuets. Three feedings observed.

Males RV18 and RK05 both visited both locations but did not haul out. Also had 3CU and Temp 325 in the area.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

Meanwhile, PK3 learns about body control.

Photo credit: G. Langley

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