Sunday, December 18, 2005
JD, Beachmaster of Sandflat, Deposed by Nero
JD, previously undefeated beachmaster of Sandflat harem for the last two years and sire of perhaps 180 pups, was soundly defeated and deposed today by a young bull named Nero from the Point Reyes colony. Nero held a small harem of eight cows last year on the Marine Terrace, but has definitely moved up in the world with the outcome of today's bout. Cow elephant seals can only mother a single pup each year during a breeding lifespan of 10-15 years, but in two years JD probably fathered ten times more progeny than any cow possibly could. But that fecundity has a price, a short brutal life of ceaseless battling for dominance. This sort of breeding system is what produces such secondary sexual characteristic oddities as the Elephant Seal nose, Elk antlers, and male Fur Seals that are 5 times larger than females, the biggest difference between the sexes of any mammal.