Elephant Seal Research Through the Eyes of a New Undergraduate Volunteer

As an incoming transfer student to UC Santa Cruz from inland Southern California, being able to assist with the elephant seal research conducted by the Costa Lab is an extraordinary opportunity. Last week, I had my first day out in the field with the seals; the incredible beauty of watching the sunrise while juveniles played in the waves and sparred each other was also my first introduction to Ano Nuevo State Park . So far this …

Continue reading

Warning: This post might contain bloody pictures (Ewww! Gross!)

Biologist are weird creatures. Most people like to stay the heck away from blood, which is more than normal, acceptable and sane. Biologists, however, happen to have to get in bloody messes as part of their job so that science can happen. Let’s recap though. Last time we heard about the adventures of B-267 was last year, and we had successfully finished our field season collecting samples from placentas, dead animals and live animals to …

Continue reading

A Long Migration

This year’s post-molt migration is proving to be unusual, to say the least.  Four of our tracked females crossed the dateline during their trip to sea, more than we have ever seen from a single group of tracked seals.  One of those animals, nicknamed Phyllis, has broken the distance record for a tracked animal by a significant margin.  You can read more about Phyllis here.   Have a look at the live tracking data for our …

Continue reading

We demand more cuteness!!!

Well, calm down! This is scientific blog after all, so we need to set our priorities straight. Science is the reason why we are in McMurdo, under the group name of B-267 (check it out on Twitter and Instagram . I have been trying to tell you how almost cool this project is. What if they actually discover the mechanism that allows seals to shut down circulation to parts of their bodies and the gene that allows that tissue to survive …

Continue reading