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Friday photo

I think this should be a motivational poster. You know, the kind with captions like “Determination,” and “Perseverance,” and “Achieve Your Goals.” This one should be: “Energy Conservation.”

young elephant seals resting together on the beach

The elephant seals are working hard, regenerating all-new skin. It’s called a catastrophic molt and it takes several weeks. When molting, they’re too susceptible to the cold to go into the water, so they don’t feed or drink during those weeks. They spend the whole time conserving energy. (More info at Wikipedia.) The photo was taken at–logically enough–Seal Beach on California’s Central Coast.

bit of molted skin showing the fur

The fur side of a piece of molted skin found lying on the beach.

bit of molted skin showing the underside of the skin layer

The once-living side of the skin.

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