Most of the cows on SEFI have finished nursing their pups, mated with the harem bull, navigated through the minefield of additional adult males hoping for a chance to mate, and headed back out to sea to eat for the first time in over a month, leaving their pups to fend for themselves. The beaches and gulches of the Farallones have been turned over to the elephant seal weaners. The 2007 crop of over 100 weaners is scattered all over the marine terrace, Sand Flat,
The weaners will stay on land for about a month after their mothers leave, to molt their lanugo (pup hair), splash in the puddles, play-fight with each other, sleep hard, and provide a constant source of entertainment for delighted biologists. When they are ready, they will enter the sea for the first time. On their very first dive, the weaners will swim deeper than most adults of other pinniped species. After gaining hunting experience, they will begin to conduct long, biannual migrations of thousands of miles to catch and eat cephalopods and fish in the deep ocean waters.